It is with great sadness that we heard the news this evening (Thursday 8 September 2022) of the death of Her Majesty, The Queen. She has been a constant in our lives for eight decades and has been steadfast in Her service to our country and The Commonwealth. Her reign will be remembered for her witness to some of the biggest historical moments of the last century: the Second World War, international crises financial and military, a global pandemic, and the rise of postmodern societies, global consumerism, travel, superpowers as well as an exceptional explosion of technology. Many great historians will write far better words than I can write.
Despite witnessing so much change, she has managed to remain both constant and evolving. She redefined the British monarchy whilst maintaining the mystery of this much revered and loved British institution in an era where the level of public scrutiny has increased with every passing decade of Her reign. Throughout her reign, her faith in Jesus Christ remained the bedrock on which she built her life. Her role as Supreme Head of the Church of England was not a mere title but something about which she was passionate.
I had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty at the start of my time as Bishop of Hereford when I participated in the traditional ceremony of homage. I was the seventh Bishop of Hereford to do so in Her Majesty's reign. She was both dignified and informal and we were able to chat for some time at the conclusion of the ceremony. She was well informed about our diocese and my own circumstances. She visited the Cathedral on four separate occasions and the diocese for a number of other formal royal events. As many have said, when she spoke to you, she made you feel as if you were the only person there.
This is a global moment of deep and profound grief that will be felt by many. Her 70-year reign will fill the history books as we mark the end of the second Elizabethan era in this country.
Today we remember that there is also a personal loss for the Royal family, and I pray that God will comfort them at this time.
May Her Majesty rest in peace and rise in glory.
God Save The Queen