Queen Elizabeth II issued a message to the Lambeth Conference in London this week, telling the Anglican Communion’s decennial gathering that the teachings of Christ have served as a “guide” in her life.
The queen’s message was sent to the conference on Wednesday, the same day bishops were set to visit Lambeth Palace to launch the Anglican Communion forest initiative.
The 96-year-old monarch sent “warm greetings” and expressed “great pleasure” that the Lambeth Conference could take place after a delay of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bishops from over 165 countries are attending the conference, which runs from July 26 until Aug. 8.
“As we all emerge from the pandemic, I know that the Conference is taking place at a time of great need for the love of God — both in Word and deed,” she wrote in the address.
“The bishops of the Anglican Communion set out a path for an ongoing commitment towards Christian unity in a changing world; a task that is, perhaps, even more important today, as together you look to the future and explore the role of the church in responding to the needs of the present age.”
Queen Elizabeth reflected on how she views the current time as a period of “immense challenge for bishops, clergy and lay people around the world” as many of them have been serving in places of “suffering, conflict and trauma.”
“It is of comfort to me that you do so in the strength of God,” she stated.
She also warned that the world is in a “time when the effects of climate change are threatening the lives and livelihoods of many people and communities, not least the poorest and those less able to adapt and adjust.”
“I was interested to learn that the focus of your programme at Lambeth Palace today is reflection and dialogue on the theme of the environment, a cause close to the heart of my late husband, and carried on by The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge,” the queen continued.
Towards the end of her message, she said the “message and teachings of Christ have been my guide” throughout life.
“[A]nd in them I find hope,” she stressed. “It is my heartfelt prayer that you will continue to be sustained by your faith in times of trial and encouraged by hope at times of despair.”
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“I send my warmest good wishes to you all for a successful Conference and may God bless you in your ministry and service in his world,” she concluded.
In early June, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 70th year on the throne through her Platinum Jubilee commemoration.
“When it comes to how to mark 70 years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee,” the queen wrote in a message issued at the end of the commemorations.
“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”
Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has not refrained from highlighting her Christian faith. In her Royal Christmas Message in 2018, the monarch declared that Jesus Christ’s message of “peace on Earth and good will toward all” is “never out of date” and “needed as much as ever.”
In 2016, the queen called Jesus Christ “the King she serves.”
Her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in 2021, was attributed with having “persuaded” her to talk more about her Christian faith during her broadcasts.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Queen Elizabeth gave her first-ever Easter address.
“The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us,” she said at the time.
“As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”