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Church Joins Tributes to Queen

Friday September 9 2022

Leaders of the Church of Scotland have joined other Christian denominations and faith groups from across the country in tributes to Queen Elizabeth II, who died yesterday at Balmoral.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, said: “The faith, service and dedication of Her Majesty the Queen have been the hallmark of her long reign. She has been the steady constant in the life of our nation for over seven decades and most of us will have grown up knowing only her as our monarch.

“Her thoughtful and pertinent Christmas Day broadcasts gave an insight not only into her personal faith, but also reflected the changing concerns and attitudes of our country. They were always marked with quiet perception and a great deal of affection.

“Tireless in her duty, the Queen has demonstrated a life of selfless dedication. Her love for her family was mirrored in her love for our nation and the wider Commonwealth.

“Wherever the Queen went she brought encouragement and appreciation as she showed a genuine interest in the people she met.

“The Church of Scotland has valued Her late Majesty’s generous support, and seen in her private devotion someone for whom faith remained central throughout her long life.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the King, and all members of the Royal Family, assuring them of our prayers and best wishes in the days ahead.”

The minister of Braemar and Crathie, where the Queen worshipped when she was in residence at Balmoral, said that local people had received the news ‘with great sadness’.

The Rev Kenneth Mackenzie, who was also the Queen’s domestic chaplain, said: “Hers was a long life – a life shaped by faith; infused with grace; and characterised by selfless service. 

“With people all across this nation and Commonwealth, most of whom have never known life without The Queen, we share an uncommon yet communal sense of loss. 

“More specifically perhaps, we who live in this beautiful part of God’s creation - a place and a community beloved by the late Queen - have been granted a degree of insight into just how deeply Her death will affect each and every member of Her Family and Household. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

Former Moderator, the Very Rev Dr Martin Fair, who was with the Queen at Balmoral just last weekend, wrote on Facebook: “To have been with the Queen so recently, to have seen her smiling brightly and to engage with her in conversation about all manner of everything… I was fortunate indeed.

“Her faith was strong to the end as throughout her life. May she rest now in peace and might she hear these words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

And another former Moderator, the Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, a chaplain-in-ordinary to the Queen, wrote: “Held now safely in the arms of the God she so trusted to lead her in private and in public. Our prayers go out to a family mourning a mother and grandmother.”

Postponing Saturday's Annual Gathering, the Church of Scotland Guild said: "We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Queen Elizabeth. We were honoured when she attended our 90th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 1977 and brought us such encouragement.

"The Queen was a woman with a deep faith and that faith and her dedicated service have marked her long reign. Please pray for the family as they mourn the loss of their mother, grandmother and great grandmother."

The Iona Community said it was ‘saddened’ to hear of the Queen’s passing. It said: “Inspired by her faith, the Queen valued the power of forgiveness to heal, restore and reconcile divided communities.

“We echo her words that ‘When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place’.

“We, the Iona Community, believe that in our living and in our dying we belong to God.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Queen’s family at this time.”

The Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said: “Today we will gather in prayer and sorrow as we mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. For nearly all of us, she is the only monarch we have known, she has been part of our lives and part of our prayers always.

“The Queen came to the throne at a moment of great hope. A time of rebirth following the difficulties of war. She dedicated herself to the service of this country and she has honoured that pledge, especially so when things were difficult. She never wavered from her service.

“Queen Elizabeth was steadfast in her faith, in her prayers and worship. She spoke openly and often of her devotion to God, and to the Christian message of respect and the value of people, of all faiths and none.

“Here in Scotland we know that the Queen found space to relax and to be amongst family and friends, we cherish the knowledge that she loved this place as much as we do. That knowledge brought a shared connection that many of us felt deeply.

“Today we will share memories and sadness. Her Majesty understood and believed in the promises of God. In her many statements over the years she spoke always of moving forward, serving the country that she loved, and giving thanks to God for the life she lived.

“May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”

The President of the Scottish Bishop’s conference of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, said: “(The Queen’s) life of outstanding service during a reign of 70 years stands as an example of dedicated public service in our own country, across the Commonwealth and around the world’. 

“Her determination to remain active to the end of her long life, has been an example of Christian leadership, which demonstrated her great stoicism and commitment to duty and was undoubtedly a source of stability and continuity in times of great change.”

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities recalled the Queen’s ‘kindnesses to the Jewish Community’ and ‘the commitment, wisdom, and dignity with which she led this nation for more than 70 years in times of hardship and prosperity’.

The Muslim Council of Scotland said: “This is a moment of great sadness for her family, the nation and Commonwealth. Dedication, grace and integrity were a hallmark of her reign.”

"A Peerless Example of Selfless Devotion": The Very Rev Dr Derek Browning remembers 'a lady of dry wit and graciousness'.

"A Giant in the Land": A tribute from the Very Rev Dr James Simpson


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