Friday 26 February 2016
In a strong statement of faith to mark her 90th birthday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has said that she is “very grateful” to the nation for its prayers for her and that she has felt God’s “faithfulness” during 64 years on the throne.
The comments – rare insights into the Queen’s personal thoughts and Christian faith – came in the foreword to a new book, The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, published this week by Bible Society UK, HOPE and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). The Queen wrote the forward herself.
Her Majesty said, “I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.”
The book is being published to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, in April. In her comments, the Queen referred to the changes she has seen in her life, which has made her the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
“The extent and pace of change has been truly remarkable,’ she said. ‘We have witnessed triumphs and tragedies.’ And she alluded to the current problems in the Middle East saying that the world is now experiencing ‘terrible suffering on an unprecedented scale.”
The Servant Queen and the King She Serves will be given away by thousands of churches across the UK in the lead up to the Queen’s birthday, amidst celebrations that will include a massive street party expected to attract 10,000 people in London’s The Mall in June.
As part of a push to celebrate the Queen’s Christian faith, churches across the UK are being encouraged to bring their communities together to join the festivities, planning street parties of their own, and special church services of thanksgiving.
The book’s co-author, Mark Greene from LICC said he was struck by the interest he uncovered in the Queen’s personal faith.
“As I’ve been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don’t know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I’ve been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen’s faith. The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I’ve read what she’s written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is.”
The interim chief executive of the Bible Society in the UK, Paul Woolley, said, “This book bears witness to the Queen’s faith and the centrality of her Christian faith on her life and her reign. It goes into detail about her speeches and it often is drawing on her own words to give an account of how significant the Christian faith is to all that she represents.”
The book will be available soon from shop.biblesociety.org.au, sold for outreach purposes at $5 a copy.