Christians and Church leaders have been paying tribute to the Queen’s Christian faith and tireless dedication to the nation. Here is a collection of some of those responses.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.
In The Late Queen’s life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.
Her Late Majesty found great joy and fulfilment in the service of her people and her God, “whose service is perfect freedom” (BCP). For giving her whole life to us, and allowing her life of service to be an instrument of God’s peace among us, we owe her a debt of gratitude beyond measure.
The Late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.
It was my great privilege to meet Her Late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell
On the occasions I had the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty, I can testify to the warmth and joy she brought to every occasion. But most of all, it was the resolute reality of her faith that struck me powerfully.
In Her Majesty’s first Christmas broadcast, ahead of her Coronation she asked the nation, whatever their religion, to pray that God would give her wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promise she would be making and to faithfully serve God and us all the days of her life.
That is most definitely a prayer that has been answered. Her service to our nation and Commonwealth has been exemplified by her devotion to her duty, which has always been offered with joy. Underpinning this has been her deep faith in God and in her we have witnessed God’s faithfulness at work.
Her Majesty leaves a remarkable legacy which not only lives on in this country, but stretches across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Her desire to bring people together and use her role to build up communities and wider society has been a cornerstone of her reign.
The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols
In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’
This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.
Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation.
Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always, a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace. We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother. God save the King.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields
The faith, service and dedication of Her Majesty the Queen have been the hallmark of her long reign. She has been the steady constant in the life of our nation for over seven decades and most of us will have grown up knowing only her as our monarch.
Her thoughtful and pertinent Christmas Day broadcasts gave an insight not only into her personal faith, but also reflected the changing concerns and attitudes of our country. They were always marked with quiet perception and a great deal of affection.
Tireless in her duty, the Queen has demonstrated a life of selfless dedication. Her love for her family was mirrored in her love for our nation and the wider Commonwealth.
Wherever the Queen went she brought encouragement and appreciation as she showed a genuine interest in the people she met.
The Church of Scotland has valued Her late Majesty’s generous support, and seen in her private devotion someone for whom faith remained central throughout her long life.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the King, and all members of the Royal Family, assuring them of our prayers and best wishes in the days ahead.
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally
She was a woman of faith. In her 2014 Christian broadcast, the queen described Jesus Christ as ‘an anchor in my life and a role model’. In a nation where faith is often contended and sometimes despised, she made no excuse for her own faith. And she did not hide it. On the contrary, it was the engine of her devotion to service.
In an age that is, on one hand, increasingly secular, and on the other, fraught by religious conflicts, her approach was winsomely inclusive. She was the head of the Church yet in her speeches, she never tells anyone to go to church. Rather, she pointed to Jesus and how he expanded her capacity to love people with different beliefs. Overall, her approach has been testimonial, not argumentative. She told the world about the inspiration that Jesus had been for her in her own life and left others to decide if they were interested in being inspired themselves.
The National Church Leaders Forum, representing Britain’s African and Caribbean Christian community
Britain’s Black Christian Community has always had the greatest respect for the Queen due to her faith, her fortitude and her commitment in serving this nation and the Commonwealth.
The Black Christian community will be praying for the Royal Family at this difficult time of personal and national bereavement. We will be asking God to comfort and strengthen them as they come to terms with their loss and make preparations for the Queen’s funeral.
When Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, she told the nation ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’
Throughout her life Queen Elizabeth II remained true to that declaration and has been a champion for the Christian faith she espoused through her personal witness and selfless service.
The Black Christian community in Britain are aware of the difficult history shared between their ancestors and the British Monarchy, the effects of which are with us still today; and we look forward to the reign of King Charles III and the focus he will bring to our life together in Britain, the Caribbean, Africa and around the world as people all created in the image and likeness of God.