Her Majesty the Queen has encouraged the Church of England to continue in its ‘supreme task’: “to bring the people of this country to the knowledge and the love of God”.
In her speech, delivered in her absence by the Earl of Wessex before the Opening Session of the 11th General Synod, Her Majesty called on the church to focus on the unchanging Gospel of Christ.
The Queen has often spoken of her deep Christian faith. Last year, in her first Easter message, she asked the country to ‘take heart from the risen Christ’.
‘Love of God’
Addressing the gathered assembly at Church House in Westminster, Her Majesty said: “It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very 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.
“The list of tasks facing that first General Synod may sound familiar to many of you: Christian education; Christian unity; the better distribution of the ordained ministry to the needs of the population.
“But one stands out supreme: to bring the people of this country to the knowledge and the love of God.”
The Queen acknowledged that, for many, the last few years had been “a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness”.
“Yet”, she said, “the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages”.
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
Her Majesty concluded: “my prayer is that the Lord’s blessing may be upon you as you embark on your deliberations; and that you will find inspiration in the joyous words of the hymn you sang this morning:
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing”.