A servant leader who trusted God - responses from Christians and Church leaders to death of Queen Elizabeth II


Christians and Church leaders have been paying tribute to the Queen's Christian faith and tireless dedication to the nation. Here is a collection of some of those responses. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.

In The Late Queen's life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.

Her Late Majesty found great joy and fulfilment in the service of her people and her God, "whose service is perfect freedom" (BCP). For giving her whole life to us, and allowing her life of service to be an instrument of God's peace among us, we owe her a debt of gratitude beyond measure.

The Late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.

It was my great privilege to meet Her Late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell

On the occasions I had the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty, I can testify to the warmth and joy she brought to every occasion. But most of all, it was the resolute reality of her faith that struck me powerfully.

In Her Majesty's first Christmas broadcast, ahead of her Coronation she asked the nation, whatever their religion, to pray that God would give her wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promise she would be making and to faithfully serve God and us all the days of her life.

That is most definitely a prayer that has been answered. Her service to our nation and Commonwealth has been exemplified by her devotion to her duty, which has always been offered with joy. Underpinning this has been her deep faith in God and in her we have witnessed God's faithfulness at work.

Her Majesty leaves a remarkable legacy which not only lives on in this country, but stretches across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Her desire to bring people together and use her role to build up communities and wider society has been a cornerstone of her reign.

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols 

In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, 'To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. 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.'

This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.

Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation.

Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always, a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace. We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother. God save the King.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields

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 Archbishop of Armagh & Primate of All Ireland, John McDowell

Her affection for Ireland as a whole was clear for all to see during the memorable State Visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011, and her speech at the State Banquet ranks in political foresight and Christian conviction with the Golden Speech which Queen Elizabeth I made to the House of Commons in 1601. That in the past "we would have done things differently or not done them at all" and that "we should bow to the past but not be bound by it" have been little gems of hope to many peacemakers in the following years. That they came from someone who had felt the tragedy of Ireland so close to hand and who had lived through the uncertainties of a World War, when the outcome was often far from clear, gave her words an unchallengeable authority.

We thank God for the life of Queen Elizabeth II, for her faithfulness to Him and to her calling, from which we have gained so much. To finish with some words from the first Elizabeth's Golden Speech but which find an echo in the life of Queen Elizabeth II, "... and we do confess that we passed not so much to be a Queen, as to be a Queen of such subjects ... for whom we would willingly lose our life, ere see such to perish. I bless God that he hath never given me this fault or fear; for he knows best, whether ever fear possessed me, for all my dangers; I know it is his gift; and not to hide his glory, I say it".

The prayers of the people of the Church of Ireland are with the Queen's family and all who were closest to her. May they know the presence of God very near to them.

God save the King

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally

She was a woman of faith. In her 2014 Christian broadcast, the queen described Jesus Christ as 'an anchor in my life and a role model'. In a nation where faith is often contended and sometimes despised, she made no excuse for her own faith. And she did not hide it. On the contrary, it was the engine of her devotion to service.

In an age that is, on one hand, increasingly secular, and on the other, fraught by religious conflicts, her approach was winsomely inclusive. She was the head of the Church yet in her speeches, she never tells anyone to go to church. Rather, she pointed to Jesus and how he expanded her capacity to love people with different beliefs. Overall, her approach has been testimonial, not argumentative. She told the world about the inspiration that Jesus had been for her in her own life and left others to decide if they were interested in being inspired themselves.

The National Church Leaders Forum, representing Britain's African and Caribbean Christian community

Britain's Black Christian Community has always had the greatest respect for the Queen due to her faith, her fortitude and her commitment in serving this nation and the Commonwealth.

The Black Christian community will be praying for the Royal Family at this difficult time of personal and national bereavement. We will be asking God to comfort and strengthen them as they come to terms with their loss and make preparations for the Queen's funeral.

When Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, she told the nation 'I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.'

Throughout her life Queen Elizabeth II remained true to that declaration and has been a champion for the Christian faith she espoused through her personal witness and selfless service.

The Black Christian community in Britain are aware of the difficult history shared between their ancestors and the British Monarchy, the effects of which are with us still today; and we look forward to the reign of King Charles III and the focus he will bring to our life together in Britain, the Caribbean, Africa and around the world as people all created in the image and likeness of God.

Arcbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London

Her Majesty is known worldwide for her faithful witness and commitment to her Christian faith and her tireless service to our Nation, the Commonwealth, and indeed the world. She is quite simply unmatched in her legacy, having served faithfully and joyfully as monarch for over seventy years, longer than any other monarch in British history; a testament to her character and strength of resolve. She is also the only monarch that most of us will have ever known.

Over the course of her reign, Her Majesty used her position for good, serving the nation through tireless visits to various charities and organisations that serve the wider community and the most vulnerable. She is known widely for always taking her duty as monarch and a daughter of Christ seriously, evident in the way she spoke and interacted with people from all backgrounds, and in the Messages shared with the world every Christmas and Easter among other special moments throughout the year. Her Majesty's uplifting and optimistic spirit was especially heartening at times of challenge over the course of her reign.

Her Majesty's unfailing commitment to and support for members of the Church worldwide, and her gracious support of the ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church here in the United Kingdom, that have been demonstrated through various Messages sent to our community over the years, will never be forgotten, and will leave a lasting legacy for all those she has touched.

Her Majesty has received His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III, and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, both historic moments that will be cherished by all within the Coptic Orthodox Church worldwide.

It is deeply moving to see how Her Majesty's Christian Faith was central to her service and ministry, and absolutely core to her being, and that love extended to members of all faiths and none which is truly inspiring.

Bible Society Chief Executive, Paul Williams 

The Queen's faith has made a real difference to her reign and to the nation. She attended church more than weekly, prayed and read the Bible. Her Christian faith has been her guide during the highs and lows of her life and because of that she has been able to be a stable and enduring presence in our national life.

I think that the Queen's legacy is her example of what true service and duty looks like. Her whole life has been one of service. I think the Queen will be remembered in line with these words from Proverbs 10.7, "The memory of the righteous is a blessing."

Former Chaplain to the Queen, Gavin Ashenden 

Queen Elizabeth exemplified the very best of Christian virtues. Not everyone will understand that the kind, forgiving, humorous, humble, dutiful and generous constitutional grandmother was a product of living out Christian virtue and a close relationship with a God she served and believed in passionately. In life and in death she showed people an example of how to put God first and in doing so bring the very best to the society she served.

Former Archishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey

The news of the death of Her Majesty the Queen comes as a devastating shock to millions of people around the world. It is hard to believe that, after 70 years, she is no longer here with us. Indeed, she has been the one constant element in the lives of most of us. We are left with memories as well as gratitude for this remarkable human being whose distinctive hallmark has been duty and service.

The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches

The Queen exemplified a life of service, putting others before herself and often serving without regard to personal cost – most noticeably seen in her crowded calendar and in the way she dutifully carried out many of her responsibilities. She was a great example of such service at a time when such selflessness is increasingly uncommon.

We also affirm the public manner in which she spoke about her Christian faith. Such conspicuous allegiance to Christianity amongst public figures is rare and her boldness to say what she thought was always welcome.

We commit ourselves to pray for our new King, Charles III, and his Consort, Camilla.

The Free Churches Group

The Queen reigned for over 70 years and was greatly loved for her service, strength and wisdom. Her Christian witness has been a profound inspiration as she has faithfully served her God and her people. At this time of mourning our thoughts go out to her family and in particular to the King whose private grief and public duty lie heavily upon him.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the long life and witness of your servant Elizabeth our Queen, and for the service she has given to you, our country and the Commonwealth. May you bless her family and bring your comfort and peace to them. Bless our nation as we mourn her death and may her example continue to inspire us.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Evangelical Alliance 

Her lifestyle reflected Christian values such as service, forgiveness, reconciliation, piety and it is thought that prayer was an important part of the Queen's life. She thanked people for their prayers in her ​"annus horribilis" speech, prayed daily, and spoke about the power of prayer.

Supporters of the Queen note that she was dignified, and worked hard, maintaining 50-hour working weeks for most of her working life.

Many were inspired by the Queen's vulnerability and resilience in the wake of the loss of her husband, Prince Philip, illustrated so profoundly by the photograph which emerged of the Queen seated alone at his funeral.

Her legacy is one of devotion and service to her people and a consistent and sustaining faith in God, one of the most well-known Christian public figures in the world.

Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council, Foley Beach

Throughout her life, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been a faithful Christian witness to the world and a defender of the Christian faith. While we mourn her passing, we celebrate and give thanks for her long life and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for all the Royal family, that in their time of mourning and grief, they may find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ, and peace from the Holy Spirit, which surpasses all understanding. We also pray for wisdom in the days ahead for King Charles III, the royal household, and all the countries of the Commonwealth.

Into your hands, O merciful Saviour, we commend your servant Elizabeth. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

Chairman of the National Churches Trust, Luke March

As one of the first charities to be honoured with the Patronage of Queen Elizabeth, we have been very  grateful to have had her support continuously throughout her reign.

Churches are impressive, exciting, and surprising places that help to bring communities and our nation together.

Always confident of her steadfast support, since 1953 we have been able to keep many thousands of them open, being used and in good repair; a remarkable and enduring legacy to her support.

Thank you, Your Majesty.

Chair of the Association of English Cathedrals, Jo Kelly-Moore

The Queen has been a beacon of hope, faith and unity in our country and throughout the world; a constant in the midst of so much change.

Our Queen has also been a great support to the cathedrals of this land and the Commonwealth. Here in the United Kingdom every cathedral is part of her rich story as she has travelled the length and breadth of this nation during her long and happy reign. So too, we have been strengthened and supported by her prayers.

Now the cathedrals will join our prayers as, together, we give thanks to God for Her Majesty the Queen's extraordinary life, founded on her faith and seen in her gracious leadership and selfless service to us all.

As in the cathedrals of this land we have prayed God's blessing upon the Queen every day of her reign, we do so again now and we pray for her family at this sad time.

And we invite you, her people, to join us. All our cathedrals are open so please come and add your voices,and prayers, in remembrance and thanks.

CARE Chief Executive, Ross Hendry

Throughout her remarkable seventy-year reign she was a gentle and stable presence in our national life, bringing encouragement to millions of people.

The Queen will be remembered as a servant leader, devoted to the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and other nations across the Commonwealth.

Her humble disposition was inspired by her strong faith in the servant king, Jesus Christ, who she followed and spoke of much throughout the course of her life.

In modern times, faith is increasingly relegated to the private sphere. The Queen's life is a shining example of a Christian living out their faith publicly, for the common good.

Christian Aid Chair and former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu

She dedicated her life to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We will always be grateful for her truly remarkable service.

She leaves behind a powerful legacy, not least in championing friendship between people of all faiths and races and promoted development .

For those who share a Christian faith, her own deep faith has been an inspiration - demonstrated throughout her life in her words and actions.

During this sad time for millions, we should never forget that at the centre of national and international mourning, there is a family grieving for their much-loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

HOPE Together 

The HOPE team joins the country in mourning as we say goodbye to our faithful Queen.

We're praying for the royal family who have lost a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Together, we have lost a remarkable leader who has been there for our nation through so many difficult and good times. She has been a beacon of faith and hope, an example of sacrificial service and a clear witness to faith in Jesus Christ.

We do not mourn without hope but know that we will see her again.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.