THE Scripture Union celebrated its 150th anniversary with a service in north London attended by the Queen.
The service, on Wednesday of last week at St Mary’s, Islington, commemorated the founding of the organisation in 1867. It was originally based on Essex Road, not far from St Mary’s.
The service was led by the Revd Tim Hastie-Smith, the Scripture Union national director, together with the Vicar of St Mary’s, the Revd Simon Harvey.
The charity provides opportunities for young people to explore the Bible and grow in faith through a range of activities and initiatives, among them holiday clubs and beach missions.
Mr Hastie-Smith praised the “gently inspiring witness of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents that testifies most powerfully to God’s enduring love.
“Her Majesty embodies this witness. And, just as she seeks to serve all people of this nation, regardless of race or religion, so the Scripture Union seeks to testify to the abiding presence of a life-transforming, loving God.”
The service was recorded for a future episode of the BBC programme Songs of Praise. The singer Katherine Jenkins also took part, as well as Lady Benjamin and the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, the president of the Scripture Union, who gave the address. The Rt Revd Timothy Dudley-Smith, a former Bishop of Dunwich, composed a hymn for the occasion: “God of unchanging grace”.
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