By Claire Gordon • 17 November 2021 • 17:25
The Queen sent a poignant message to the leaders of the Church Of England a few days before her first wedding anniversary without Prince Phillip. The Queen’s message to the Church came as she has had to miss several important engagements due to a sprained back, including the last weekend’s Remembrance Sunday service.
She has also now had to miss her five-yearly visit to General Synod. Prince Edward has instead attended to read out her poignant note. The Queen said today: “It’s hard to believe that it has been over 50 years since Prince Phillip and I attended the first meeting of the General Synod. None of us can slow the passage of time, and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.”
This is the first time in the 51-year history of the General Synod – the national assembly of the Church of England – that a monarch does not attend. The Queen is the supreme governor of the church and has attended the opening session of every elected Synod since it began in 1970. The Synod passes legislation for the Church of England.
She added in her note: “Of course, in our richly diverse modern society, the wellbeing of the nation depends on the contribution of people of all faiths, and of none. But for people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship.”
For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness. Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the Church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways, such as digital forms of worship.”
The Earl of Wessex spoke to Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England, and said his mother sent her “sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today”. He read from her notes, and the Queen’s message to the Church showed how she is sympathetic to the “weighty responsibilities” and “difficult decisions” the Synod would have in its next five-year term.
It comes just before the Queen’s first wedding anniversary without Prince Phillip who died in April. Their 74th anniversary would have been on November 20.
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