The Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Ven Dr Amanda Bloor, writes:

With the help of God

In June this year, there will be events all across the country marking Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Many of us will have listened to a recording of the radio broadcast she made on her 21st birthday in 1947, when she promised to dedicate her whole life, ‘whether it be long or short,’ to the service of her subjects. It’s poignant now to consider all the changes that have happened over those 75 years and realise that the desire to build a lasting peace – a priority then, after the ravages of the Second World War – is still uppermost in our minds today. But what strikes me as most significant about the short speech is its final line: ‘God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.’

Throughout her 70-year reign, with all its joys and sorrows, the Queen has demonstrated a firm and unswerving Christian faith. Her Christmas messages invariably include a reminder of Christian teaching, she attends church regularly and her coronation service was a deeply religious occasion at which she promised to serve her people by serving God. During the most sacred part of the service she was anointed with holy oil; set apart to govern and rule with the help of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We probably all remember the sight of the Queen at the funeral service of the Duke of Edinburgh, sitting alone in a pew, distanced from her family by Covid protocols. It was a moment when we were able to see her as a widow as well as a monarch, grieving for the husband with whom she’d had such a strong partnership for so long. I hope that as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she drew some comfort from the words of the service with its affirmation of God’s consoling love.

A jubilee was originally an ancient Biblical concept, a reminder that the earth and its people belonged to God. As we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I’m thankful for a monarch whose Christian faith so clearly underpins her life and work.

God save the Queen!

Amanda Bloor