Woman Priest Becomes Youngest Chaplain To The Queen

The Queen has appointed a young woman priest who serves as a Canon at Worcester Cathedral as her newest chaplain, it was announced today.

Revd Georgina ByrneWorcester Cathedral

Rev Georgina Byrne, 44, will be the youngest of 34 honorary chaplains to the Queen. She will in her new role preach occasionally in the Chapel Royal in St James' Palace, London, alongside her duties as residentiary canon at Worcester Cathedral.

"I feel extremely privileged to have been honoured in this way," Byrne said of her appointment.

"The letter from Buckingham Palace arrived, like a very special gift, just before Christmas and I've been smiling ever since."

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, said: "Canon Georgina Byrne is an outstanding priest and I am delighted that this has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen. The great honour bestowed on her is good news for us at the Cathedral and in the Diocese: we can all bask in reflected glory."

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The Dean of Worcester, the Very Rev Peter Atkinson, said: "All at Worcester Cathedral will be delighted by the news of this honour for a popular and respected member of the cathedral community."

Queen Elizabeth II is known for her strong Christian faith, and has spoken publicly of how it has helped her in her royal duties.

Queen Elizabeth IIReuters

In her Christmas address last month, she said Jesus' example helps us to see the value of doing small things with great love.

"Even with the inspiration of others it is understandable that we sometimes think the world's problems are so big we can do little to help. On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice," she said.

"But the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.

"At Christmas our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings. His parents Joseph and Mary did not think they were important. Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life and never traveled far.

"He was maligned and rejected by many though he had done no wrong. Yet billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives.

"I am one of them because Christ's example helps me to see the value of doing small things with great love whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe."

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