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QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIES: Tributes Pour in From Around the Anglican Communion

QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIES: Tributes Pour in From Around the Anglican Communion
The New King Charles III addresses the nation

By David W. Virtue, DD
September 9, 2022

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully in Balmoral Castle this week surrounded by her immediate family, the longest reigning monarch in the history of England. She reigned for over 70 years and died at the age of 96.

Hers was a life of service, reported the London Times. "The monarch was an anchor of stability throughout a 70-year reign in which Britain experienced immense change. The nation will forever be in her debt for her dignity, stoicism and selfless devotion to duty."

Across the globe, Anglican leaders from Commonwealth countries warmly remembered her years of faithful service with her visits and commitments.

Five things can be said about her:

1. She was the official head of the Church of England.
2. She spoke openly about her Christian faith.
3. Trust in God was 'foundational' in her life.
4. She met with five popes in her lifetime.
5. She was friends with late evangelist Billy Graham.

"She went to church every Sunday. It's kind of engrained in the culture when you think of her and the monarchy. But I don't think there will be another British monarch who goes about it like she has," said one observer.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the titular head of the Anglican Communion, lauded the late monarch's commitment to her Christian faith.

"As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life," Archbishop Welby said in a statement. "Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life -- hour by hour, day by day," he added.

"Her Late Majesty found great joy and fulfilment in the service of her people and her God 'whose service is perfect freedom' (BCP). For giving her whole life to us, and allowing her life of service to be an instrument of God's peace among us, we owe Her Late Majesty a debt of gratitude beyond measure."

Christianity Today reported that her friend and confidant Billy Graham attested to the Queen's love for the Bible, as well as the strength and depth of her Christian faith, in his autobiography, Just As I Am.

"No one in Britain has been more cordial toward us than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," Graham wrote. "Almost every occasion I have been with her has been in a warm, informal setting, such as a luncheon or dinner, either alone or with a few family members or other close friends."

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell said: "I join with many throughout our country and beyond as we mourn the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Throughout her long reign, and in all the confusions and challenges of a changing world, Her Majesty has been a constant, faithful presence."

From across the Anglican world tributes poured in.

The Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference Primates Council (GAFCON) and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America Foley Beach, said, "Throughout her life, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been a faithful Christian witness to the world and a defender of the Christian faith. While we mourn her passing, we celebrate and give thanks for her long life and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for all the Royal family, that in their time of mourning and grief, they may find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ, and peace from the Holy Spirit, which surpasses all understanding. We also pray for wisdom in the days ahead for King Charles III, the royal household, and all the countries of the Commonwealth."

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said, "Today we mourn the passing and celebrate the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. My prayers for peace go out for her, for her loved ones, and for all those who knew and loved her throughout the world."

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Linda Nicholls said it is with deep sorrow that we acknowledge the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She presided through those years with grace and dignity, rooted in her Christian faith and with love for all the people she served.

The Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin praised Queen Elizabeth II's "deep faith" and her promotion of better relations between the Anglican and Catholic Churches, following her death. "Since the Queen's coronation in 1953, she has shown immense commitment, not only to her royal duties and responsibilities, but also to the wider common good. What stands out for me is her dedication to faith, to family, and to peace and reconciliation," he said.

Welsh bishops led by The Most Revd Andrew John, Archbishop of Wales said, "it is clear that Her Majesty was extraordinary in the service and dedication she gave to the nation and the Commonwealth. We will all be mindful of the commitment she made on her twenty-first birthday in 1947, when she promised her whole life to the service of the people.

From The Anglican Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Stephen Kaziimba: On behalf of the Church of Uganda, we stand with our brothers and sisters in the UK in mourning the passing of your beloved Queen and the Head of our Commonwealth. We take hope in the words of the Bible applied to her life: She fought the good fight. She finished the race. She kept the faith. Now there is in store for her another crown -- the crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Southern Africa Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, said Queen Elizabeth's indelible mark will be remembered in the letters she used to write to South Africa and her love for her Lord. Reflecting on his personal encounter with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace in 2008, Makgoba said he was amazed at the Queen's attention to detail through her one-on-one interactions with others.

The Bishop in Europe, The Rt Revd Robert Innes, offered his condolences to the Royal Family, describing the Queen as a deeply loved and cherished monarch whose Christian faith had been her strength and guide.

The Most Rev. Mark Strange of The Scottish Episcopal Church said, "Today we will gather in prayer and sorrow as we mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. For nearly all of us, she is the only monarch we have known, she has been part of our lives and part of our prayers always."

The Acting Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, said that the late Queen had been "much-admired and respected by millions of Australians", and paid warm tribute to her service and faith.

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel said the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is a profound sadness, the depth of which is difficult to express. But we do not grieve as those without hope (1 Thess 4:13). We give heartfelt thanks to God for her long reign marked by dignity, grace and unstinting humble service motivated by enduring Christian faith.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, said: "The late Queen Elizabeth II had a deep personal faith in Jesus Christ which she was never afraid to share and talk about. She used her annual Christmas messages, televised around the world, as an opportunity to talk about the hope, peace and joy of the Gospel -- a hope, peace and joy grounded in the realities of whatever difficulties people were facing at that particular time."

The Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, the former Bishop of Mauritius and Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean, Archbishop Iain Ernest, said: "The Anglican Centre in Rome wishes to express to members of the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom our heartfelt condolences as we mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II whose life has been totally dedicated to serve God and the people entrusted to her care with a steadfast faith."

From the SPCK on the death of its patron, "the message that the dark-haired young Queen, draped in the nation's most expensive and significant jewels, received that day in 1952 -- that God's word is of greater worth than anything else in the universe -- is one that we have promoted for over 300 years at SPCK, with The Queen as our patron."

Sheran Harper: President of the Mothers' Union -- Worldwide said, It is with deep sadness that I receive the news of the passing of our beloved Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. On behalf of the Mothers' Union members around the world, I join with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in offering our love and sincere condolences to the entire Royal Family and all those dear to her.

Susie Leafe of Anglican Futures said the Queen was 'one of us'. And this is important, as Spurgeon said, "I have not one gospel for her majesty and another for the beggar. No there is only one way of salvation, only one propitiation, only one gospel."

Churches tolled their bells today in honour of the Queen after she died. Bellringers employed a special technique used only for the death of a sovereign which involved sounding fully muffled bells fitted with pads on either side of the bell clapper to create a unique echo effect.

Churches and cathedrals across the country opened their doors to welcome in mourners for a moment of prayer and quiet reflection, or to light a candle. Local books of condolence are also being opened in cathedrals and churches until Her Late Majesty's funeral, for people to sign in person. There is also a Buckingham Palace national book of condolence.

Special services are also being planned and churches with flag poles are being advised to fly flags at half staff until the day after the Queen's funeral and for a period following the proclamation of the new King.

The City of Windsor is making several plans to remember Queen Elizabeth II. City officials are working with All Saints' Anglican Church at City Hall Square for a public memorial service. It has been customary for All Saints' to host such a gathering at the passing of monarchs and in conjunction with the City of Windsor. This tradition will continue for Queen Elizabeth II. They are also making for a Public Screening of the Funeral proceedings, with date, time and location to be determined.

A reflection by Carl Trueman: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2022/09/the-quiet-faith-of-queen-elizabeth-ii

The new King's address to the nation: https://t.co/IJybava9ec

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