By Elspeth Kernebone
9 September 2022
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s faithful Christian leadership and humble service have been remembered as key elements of her reign, after her death.
The Queen’s death was announced in the early evening of Thursday September 8 in the United Kingdom, about 3.30am Friday morning in Australia.
Faith leaders in Australia and around the world have issued statements expressing their sadness at her death, and praise of her Christian example.
Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier said his prayers were with the King and royal family as they grieved the loss of a mother and grandmother, and the people of the United Kingdom as they grieved the loss of their Queen.
“We remember her too as a faithful Christian and leader of the Church of England, whose faith gave her the courage, resilience and her strong ethic of service to others,” Dr Freier said.
“We remember with gratitude the grace with which she performed her duties, a steadfast and reassuring figure through decades of tremendous change and times of both hardship and joy.
“As frequent visitor to Australia the Queen had a special place in the hearts of Australians and she leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy, having touched the lives of so many.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he joined the nation, the Commonwealth, and the world in mourning the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr Welby spoke of the Queen’s description of a light no darkness could overcome during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her courage, resilience and instinct for putting the needs of others first. He said these were all signs of a deeply rooted Christian faith.
“As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society,” Mr Welby said.
“As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.
“In The Late Queen’s life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.”
Mr Welby ended his statement saying, “May Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory”.
St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, has announced a Solemn Service of Choral Evensong commemorating the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The service will take place on Sunday September 11 at 6pm.