I am writing this on a very special day; Thursday 21st April 2016, the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. I realise not everyone feels exactly the same about our Royal Family, but it’s surely difficult to find fault with the longest serving British Monarch now in the 64th year of her reign. Personally, I feel privileged and proud to say that she is our Queen as well as The Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Perhaps you will permit me a few moments to talk of her faith in God, which I believe is both unexpected and inspiring.

Unexpected because many blessed people who have everything they could ever want in this life often live as if they don’t need anything else, but our Queen has throughout her long life honoured and depended upon God. On the occasion of her 21st birthday in 1947 she openly declared her need for; ‘God to help me to make good my vow.’ We have also grown used to her inspirational Christmas Day speeches when she speaks openly of her trust in God and the Lord Jesus. In 2015, she said this: ‘For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life; a role-model of reconciliation and forgiveness.’

As we give thanks for her reign amongst us, our churches will be holding a special Choral Evensong on Sunday 5th June 6.30pm at St. Mary’s Standon to celebrate her life and faith. Please come and join us.

That word ‘anchor’ is very important and central to what a faith in God can bring. To anchor something is to hold it secure and steady when the storms come. We know a ship not anchored during a storm, will be swept far away at best and more likely destroyed on the rocks at worst. The tests and storms of this life are no less threatening and powerful as the sad deaths of Victoria Wood and the singer Prince confirmed in this past week. A faith in God not only offers an answer to these storms, as I believe it does, but is a tangible strength holding firm during such storms. As we invite God to ‘help’ us in our lives and to ‘forgive’ our failures through Jesus, God instils a strength in you and me that anchors to everything that is good and of God. The bible calls this the Holy Spirit that comes to live on the inside of our lives. It comes upon our invitation but is of God’s creation. Why not ask God to give you this strength? If you want to find out more, why not ask?

Alan Comfort - Rector