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Church officials send letter of condolence to the King

15 September 2022

And pay tribute to the Queen’s role at the General Synod

Alamy

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech at the Inauguration of the eighth General Synod, at Church House, Westminster, in November 2005. The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech at the Inauguration of the eighth General Synod, at Church House, Westminster, in November 2005. The Queen was ac...

THE officers of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council have sent a message of condolence to the King.

The letter — signed by William Nye on behalf of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York; the Prolocutors of the Convocation of Canterbury and York; and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity — offers “deepest sympathy and condolences” and pays tribute to the Queen’s role at the General Synod.

“We remember Her Majesty before God, with thanksgiving and admiration for the example of her life of service and witness,” the letter says. “Please know, Sir, that Your Majesty and all your family are remembered regularly in the prayers of all the churches of the Church of England.”

The letter refers to the ten occasions on which the late Queen opened Synod, when, it says, she inspired members “with her evident Christian faith, and with her specific messages of encouragement”.

In November last year, the Earl of Wessex stood in for the late Queen (News, 26 November 2021) for the first time since the 1970s, because of her declining health, but she had sent “a kind message”, the letter says.

“Her Majesty was an example to us, not just as a Christian whose life of service was so clearly inspired by the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ; but also as a witness who spoke openly of that faith and its importance to her. While grieving for her loss, we rejoice in her as a model of Christian discipleship, and we are encouraged by her confidence in life everlasting. She will remain an inspiration to all of us, and to countless Christians in the Church of England and in many Christian churches.”

The letter concludes with a commitment to “our continuing humble duty and service” to the King.

“We pray for Your Majesty as you take up the responsibilities of Sovereign, and we pray that God will strengthen you for the task of service to which you have committed yourself. We trust that the faith in Christ which you too have so clearly and publicly acknowledged will by grace give you the strength you need.”

A spokesman for the Church of England confirmed that there was no requirement to dissolve the Synod after the death of the Queen. References to the Queen in Acts of Parliament, Measures of the General Synod, and in the Canons are now automatically to be read as references to the King.

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