Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I know that you will join me in acknowledging with deep gratitude to God, the life of faith, witness and service of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II who died this morning at 5.30am New Zealand time.
I had the opportunity to meet and speak with her and was struck, as many others have said, by her detailed knowledge of New Zealand and her concern for the life of ordinary New Zealanders.
Our meeting was on the occasion of the Lambeth Conference in 2008 and she asked me about the Conference. I replied referring to the diversity present in the Conference; both in terms of those who were there and the issues we were dealing with.
She replied saying “the thing about diversity is that it challenges your presuppositions”. No small talk in that brief encounter!
That was similar to the experience of so many.
Her attention was fully in the moment and with the person she was engaging with; her concern was genuine, her commitment was unwavering.
Her sense of service and duty was driven by a deep personal faith in Jesus Christ who she humbly sought to follow.
I know you will join me in praying for her family and for the repose of her soul. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whose great mercy
we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
Lord now you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation:
which you have prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations:
and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.