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Queen’s legacy will live on, say charities that thrived under her patronage

09 September 2022

Sailors’ Society

Princess Elizabeth, aged 18, talks to Merchant Seamen in the newly opened Sailors’ Home in Aberdeen, in 1944, during an official tour of Scotland with her parents

Princess Elizabeth, aged 18, talks to Merchant Seamen in the newly opened Sailors’ Home in Aberdeen, in 1944, during an official tour of Scotland with...

TRIBUTES have poured in today from charities supported by the late Queen, singling out her Christian faith and devotion to duty.

She remained patron of many charities until the end of her life, including the Mothers’ Union (MU), the Bible Society, and the international Christian charity the Sailors’ Society.

Mothers’ Union paid tribute to her in Twitter post as “first and foremost a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother”. The Worldwide President of the MU, Sheran Harper, said that the Queen had been their “beloved Patron”.

“We give thanks to God for her being our Patron, for blessing her with special gifts for a life humbly dedicated to public service, her strong faith as she weathered many storms; her commitment and devotion to family life; and her great concern for communities and all people.

“Her guidance and support of Mothers’ Union over the decades has enabled us to achieve so much in impacting communities and touching lives. During times of ongoing war and turmoil around the world, she reminded us of the healing power of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. This inspired us and encouraged us to work for harmony and good relationships among all people in our communities.”

The Queen’s legacy would live on “in the hearts of all Mothers’ Union members for generations to come”, Ms Harper said.

The Queen was also patron of the Sailors’ Society throughout her reign, and her very first solo opening ceremony, at the age of 18, was to open the new Sailors’ Home in Aberdeen during an official tour of Scotland with her parents.

The charity said on Friday: “We share the deep sadness at her passing with those in the maritime industry across the globe, and extend our heartfelt sympathies to the entire Royal Family for the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother, and to the nation for the loss of their Queen. We also give thanks for her years of tireless service.”

Paul Williams, of the Bible Society, said: “With the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II we have lost not only a remarkable public servant but also a presence, the presence of a much-loved and respected Christian leader during a period of extraordinary change.

“We cannot understand the Queen without reference to her Christian faith. There’s a marvellous section in her Coronation service when she was presented with a Bible, described as the ‘Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes’ and ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords’. The Queen’s life and testimony make it clear that she took these words very seriously.

“The Queen’s faith has made a real difference to her reign and to the nation. She attended church more than weekly, prayed and read the Bible. Her Christian faith has been her guide during the highs and lows of her life, and because of that she has been able to be a stable and enduring presence in our national life.”

The Queen was also patron of the Church Army for most of her reign. It said that it joined “with millions of people around the world in deep sadness at her Majesty’s passing. . .

“In a long and distinguished reign much has been demanded of her. It has been a reign marked by an unshakeable sense of the responsibility of her position, and graced by consistent service to others, and humble obedience to the faith that has guided her steps.”

The National Churches Trust was granted the new Queen’s patronage in 1953. Its chairman, Luke March, thanked the Queen for her service, and said: “Her Majesty dedicated her life to the people of her nation and Commonwealth, and now we must dedicate our thoughts and prayers to honouring her life and work.”

He shared the order of service from the 60th anniversary of the Trust in 2013, in which the Queen wrote: “As you celebrate your Diamond Jubilee this year, I hope you will build on the Trust’s success and continue your important work which has such a positive impact on people’s lives and our communities”.

The Queen was patron of Save the Children, from her accession to the throne until 2017, when she handed over many of her extensive patronages to her children. The new patron of Save the Children is the Princess Royal.

The chief executive, Gwen Hines, said that during her 65 years as patron the Queen made “an invaluable contribution to building a better world for children”.

“Her passion and dedication will never be forgotten”, she said.

Christian Aid also paid tribute to the Queen’s “powerful legacy . . . [of] championing friendships between people of all faiths and none, and the diverse peoples of the world.

“For those who share a Christian faith, Queen Elizabeth’s own faith demonstrated throughout her life in words and actions have been an inspiration,” it said.

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