Email: Mary Henley
Letter for October 2022
Together, during the last weeks, we have experienced a celebration and a mourning: a good life has ended.
Since the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death on September 8th, documentaries, personal accounts, obituaries, anecdotes, and never-before-seen photos have flooded in. We have been exposed to a wealth of words and images expressing all the late Queen was and all that she did for so many people. We rightly continue to give thanks: thanks for how she gave her life in service to the country and thanks for her outstanding example of dedication.
The Queen proved to be exceptionally gifted for the multifaceted role of her 70-year reign, whilst she also remained passionately involved in her personal concerns: family and horses being just two. She coped with and learnt from the crises and tragedies which come to us all. In Archbishop Justin Welby’s words, she was full of life. Think of Paddington Bear.
In John 10 v10 Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly“.
Queen Elizabeth was explicit about the importance of faith and prayer throughout her life; she called it ‘her anchor’. In her Christmas speeches, she openly spoke of how she drew strength from following Christ’s example. Religious leaders also confirm how the Queen readily entered dialogue about her spiritual life, and how prayer was essential and intrinsic to her actions. I believe her dedication to God and the centrality of Jesus’s example in her life enabled her to carry out her role of service with a devotion which can only astound us.
Now the late Queen’s funeral is over, we start to experience the reality that photos and news of her are no longer there. She has gone. We may find re-awakened in us the emotions of other griefs and losses. With the uncertainty of a new monarch and a new prime minister, days drawing shorter and huge anxieties about energy and food costs, times may seem bleak.
Let us be courageous: change is part of our human condition. ‘King Charles’ already sounds a little less unfamiliar. We remain blessed with memories of the Queen, and her example shows us the way to cope and move forward. If faith in God and turning to Him in prayer was the Queen’s strength and support and so it can be ours too: her legacy to us.
I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121
With my best wishes.