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The Servant Queen and the King She Serves

What is your church doing for the Queen’s 90th? We take a look her faith story - and an amazing book available for churches to use ...

What is your church doing for the Queen’s 90th?

Royal watchers can’t miss it. The Queen’s sense of duty drives her, and her Christian faith sustains her. Hence the title of a new book written as a tribute to Her Majesty on her 90th birthday.

The Servant Queen and the King She Serves has been published by HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) as a conversation starter. It is a gift for individuals and churches to give to friends, neighbours and colleagues.

The book poses the question: ‘What’s the secret of the Queen’s remarkable consistency of character and extraordinary contribution to nation, Commonwealth and the global community?’

The answer is given in the Queen’s own words: “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad … 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 … I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”

The Queen has written the foreword to The Servant Queen, which uses her own words to draw out the central role of her trust in Jesus Christ. In a strong statement of faith, she said in the foreword that she is “very grateful” to the nation for its prayers for her, and that she has felt God’s “faithfulness” during 64 years on the throne.

Most of the time, the Queen keeps her thoughts private, but in her annual Christmas broadcasts she is quite open about what she believes. She speaks of Jesus as a ‘role-model’ and ‘anchor’ in her life and often re-tells the Bible accounts of his birth, life, death and resurrection.

As she said at the turn of the millennium: “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.”

Roy Crowne, HOPE’s executive director, says, “The Queen talks so naturally about Jesus. Let’s learn from her how to talk relevantly about our faith. The royal birthday events are a great opportunity for churches to bring communities together and to use this book to start conversationas about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”

With just 64 pages, The Servant Queen is an easy read. The words and pictures reveal the heart and motivation of the great grandmother who has served our country longer than any other monarch in British history. CPO has produced the invitations, banners and bunting to make it easy for churches to bring communities together for the official celebrations from 10–12 June.

HOPE, Bible Society and LICC are encouraging churches to give the book away as a gift to street party guests, at civic dinners and special events to mark the royal birthday. Copies are available in packs of 10 at £1 a copy (plus 8p per copy CPO fulfilment charge + p&p). A 12-page schools version has been published by Scripture Union with assembly ideas and a lesson plan for teachers to use.

“HOPE loves partnering with the local church to establish a rhythm of mission through the Christian calendar,” Roy says. “In this way, mission isn’t a hit-and-run exercise but becomes part of the life of the church. It is fantastic to see so many churches in villages, towns and cities, catching the vision and sharing the good news in words and action.

“The Queen’s 90th birthday is another great opportunity leading on from Thy Kingdom Come prayer events at Pentecost. A harvest supper in the autumn would be a natural follow-on to keep in touch with people who join the royal birthday celebrations at your church.”    

The Servant Queen and the King She Serves is written by Mark Greene (LICC) and Catherine Butcher (HOPE) and designed by Claire Simmons-Clark (Bible Society).

Visit www.cpo.org.uk/thequeen to order copies and themed resources, and www.hopetogether.org.uk/thequeen for ideas on how to hold a street party and Thanksgiving service.

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