Statement from the United Reformed Church

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HM Queen Elizabeth02

The United Reformed Church shares in the grief of the nation's following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II.

Following the death of her father King George, Her Majesty succeeded the throne on 6 February 1952, but was officially crowned in 1953. Queen Elizabeth was the world's longest-reigning living monarch and was a much-loved and popular royal figure.

Many United Reformed churches (URCs) will be open for times of prayer and reflection over the coming days.

The General Assembly of the URC, the church's governing body, sends a loyal address to the Queen each time it meets. At the 2022 General Assembly, the Assembly wrote to the Queen noting that in this year both Her Majesty and the URC are marking a jubilee.

The Assembly thanked Her Majesty for her "steadfast and faithful service" over the seven decades of her reign.

Praising her example of "duty, integrity and public service", the Assembly placed on record its appreciation of Her Majesty's public witness to her Christian faith and the way in which she has sought to live her life as a servant of Christ.

The Revd Dr John Bradbury, URC General Secretary, said: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lived the most remarkable life of dedicated Christian service.

"As a devout Anglican and Presbyterian her faith shone from her words and deeds. Her contribution to the life of our nations, the commonwealth, and beyond will be remembered with gratitude for generations to come. She inspired respect from across the political spectrum and from monarchists and republicans alike.

"The United Reformed Church has always been aware that as each General Assembly presents a loyal address to the throne, we have been addressing a fellow baptised sister in Christ. We give thanks for her life and uphold in prayer all who mourn for her. May she rest in peace and rise in glory."

Prayer

O God, our rock and our redeemer,
we come to worship you
and to give thanks for your servant Elizabeth.

We thank you for her long life
and her dedicated service to commonwealth and nations.

We thank you for what she has meant
to each one of us...

We treasure memories
of meeting her ....
of celebrating and marking moments in her life,
of the opening of parliament,
of her presence at significant times in our history,
and of her speaking to us on radio and television.

We rejoice that she lived and shared
the faith we hold
and that she followed her vocation,
hearing a call to serve.

We pray for those who will miss her most deeply,
that they may find comfort and hope.

We celebrate and affirm our faith
that death is defeated,
that new life awaits your children,
and that creation is renewed in Christ.

We pray for our nations at a time of change
and for our new King.
May he follow his mother in faithful service
and may your blessing rest on him.

We pray too for our elected representatives in parliament,
for our public servants
and for all citizens, of all faiths and none.

And, in this day and time, we pray,
as we are always glad to pray,
may your Kingdom come. Amen.

Quote from The Servant Queen, a book published on the occasion of her 90th birthday

"Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God."
Queen Elizabeth II

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