The Queen at 90

Michael’s Vicarage
Alnwick

Dear People of Alnwick,

As I write this letter our Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday.

I am sure that she is inundated with messages of congratulation and goodwill – and rightly so. Hers has been a lifetime of service and she has been (and continues to be) a fine example of devotion to duty, of faith and of integrity.

She may be handing over a number of her responsibilities to other members of her family but, as the oldest and longest serving of any British monarch, she continues to have a workload far, far greater than most people of her advanced age.

Whether or not you are a royalist I believe we should all be heartened by a statement which was shared recently on social media. Her Majesty has said:

‘For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.
I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’

As the happiness continues, and we look forward to the second weekend in June when the time of her official birthday is marked and the nation will celebrate in a variety of ways, we would all do well to consider these words very carefully indeed.

If each of us were to live our lives by the teaching and example of Christ we would find energy to go on and strength in times of trouble and the world would, indeed, be a better place.
But, if making the world a better place sounds a little ambitious then let me remind you that mighty oaks do, indeed, from little acorns grow. Little by little, each of us can play our part with the gifts God has given us to help bring about more of his kingdom here in Alnwick.

Already, of course, many of our church family contribute both to the life of St Michael’s and the wider community by giving of their time and expertise in all sorts of different ways – but, please, don’t let that prevent you from looking for ways in which you can be more active in giving back to God what he has given to you. As our Queen continues to demonstrate, age need not be a barrier!

At St Michael’s we will have our celebrations on Sunday 12th June when the 9.30am and 11.15am congregations will come together at 10.00am for a joint act of worship at which the preacher will be our own Canon Alan Craig – one of the Queen’s Honorary Chaplains. After our usual post-service coffee we will then enjoy a Parish Lunch together at 12.00noon. Tickets will be £10.00 per person and should be on sale by the time you read this letter. Do make a note of the date, purchase a ticket and come along to join in the fun!

We should not forget, either, that our Queen is Head of the Church of England and that we should pray regularly for her that she may continue to be given strength, wisdom and faith to carry out her responsibilities.

Heavenly Father,
as we celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen,
receive our heartfelt thanks
for all that you have given her in these ninety years
and for all that she has given to her people.
continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her,
and as you gather us together in celebration,
unite us also in love and service to one another,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

With every blessing,
Paul.

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