General Synod opened with a singing of the first verse of the National Anthem on the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. The Archbishop of Canterbury introduced the Loyal Address to the Queen on this occasion in a speech in which he made two points – about the role of Sovereign in this Kingdom, and about Her Majesty’s exercise of it.

“As the text underlines, being head of this state is not a secular office but a Christian one, for which the Sovereign is anointed with oil and consecrated.  It is a Christian vocation, which Her Majesty freely accepted and exercised as such.

In the Book of Common Prayer we pray for Her Majesty ‘that she (knowing whose minister she is) may above all things seek thy honour and glory’.  That prayer God has answered, in ways of which the Loyal Address speaks.  First and foremost, it mentions her ‘witness to the Christian Faith’.  At the forefront of our minds here are the Christmas broadcasts in which Her Majesty has spoken of her own faith in the importance of Jesus Christ for the world”

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