ALL THE CHRISTMAS DAY CELEBRATIONS I can remember in my life have known one constant feature – Her Majesty the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. I can’t remember missing one – or ever wanting to miss one. In recent years (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) I have been moved to tears by these broadcasts. Tears of joy and gratitude for a wise and gracious Monarch, full of Christian faith, who speaks of that faith with touching simplicity and depth, and whose unashamedly Christian faith so very naturally and generously embraces, after the manner of Christ Himself, people of all faiths and none. Anointed, long ago, when crowned, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has ever since ‘anointed’ this nation with gifts of Christ-like service, wisdom and compassion. God save the Queen.
On Thursday last Archbishop Rowan of Canterbury preached what has become famously described, by the Times correspondent Ruth Gledhill, as a ‘stonking’ good sermon in honour of Her Majesty’s 80th birthday. All who read it will find further cause to give thanks for a wise and gracious Archbishop. Again: God save the Queen. And may God sustain our Archbishop.