A speech by The Queen at the General Synod Inauguration, 2010
Published 23 November 2010
At the heart of our faith stand not a preoccupation with our own welfare and comfort but the concepts of service and of sacrifice.
Your Graces, The Convocations of Canterbury and York, duly called together in obedience to Our Royal Writs, are on this day joined together in accordance with the Synodical Government Measure 1969 and the House of Laity is added to them in accordance with that Measure, so as to constitute the ninth General Synod of the Church of England.
Those who serve the Church of England in its public ministry are required to affirm their loyalty to its inheritance of faith as their inspiration and guidance under God. They also declare their commitment to bringing the grace and truth of Christ and making him known to those in their care.
The opening of a new Synod is a moment when we can all give thanks for the witness of those who have gone before, and pray for wisdom as you seek to balance change and continuity in the decisions that lie ahead of you.
Next year will see two important anniversaries. It will be four hundred years since the publication of the Authorised Version of the Bible commissioned by King James, and two hundred years since the foundation of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education. Both developments had a lasting impact on the life of the Church and the nation.
The Authorised Version has remained one of the defining elements of our heritage. Similarly the Church of England’s initiative to build new schools at the beginning of the nineteenth century created a momentum which led eventually to Parliament establishing a universal right to education.
In our more diverse and secular society, the place of religion has come to be a matter of lively discussion. It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and of none. Yet, as the recent visit of His Holiness The Pope reminded us, churches and the other great faith traditions retain the potential to inspire great enthusiasm, loyalty and a concern for the common good.
The new Synod will have many issues to resolve to ensure that the Church of England remains equipped for the effective pursuit of its mission and ministry. Some will, no doubt, involve difficult, even painful, choices. But Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing. What matters is holding firmly to the need to communicate the gospel with joy and conviction in our society.
For at the heart of our faith stand not a preoccupation with our own welfare and comfort but the concepts of service and of sacrifice as shown in the life and teachings of the one who made himself nothing, taking the very form of a servant.
A report to the last Synod concluded with St Paul’s encouragement to the Ephesian church to "lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Archbishops and members of the Synod, the five years ahead will not always be straightforward. But I am confident that with the encouragement of these words of St. Paul and the certainty of the love of God, you will find the strength and the vision to work together to succeed. May the Lord’s blessing be on you as you embark on your important deliberations.
Christmas Broadcast 2015
I have been warned I may have Happy Birthday sung to me more than once or twice.
A speech by The Queen at the Inauguration of the General Synod, 2015
St. Paul reminds us that all Christians, as ambassadors for Christ, are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation.
Christmas Broadcast 2011
It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.
Christmas Broadcast 2012
At Christmas I am always struck by how the spirit of togetherness lies also at the heart of the Christmas story.
Christmas Broadcast 1997
Being united - that is, feeling a unity of purpose - is the glue that bonds together the members of a family, a country, a Commonwealth.
Christmas Broadcast 2002
All great religions have such times of renewal, moments to take stock before moving on to face the challenges which lie ahead.
Christmas Broadcast 1977
My hope this Christmas is that the Christian spirit of reconciliation may burn as strongly in our hearts during the coming year.
Christmas Broadcast 1972
In the United Kingdom we have our own particular sorrows in Northern Ireland and I want to send a special message of sympathy to all those men, women and children who have...
Christmas Broadcast 1975
Then Christmas comes, and once again we are reminded that people matter, and it is our relationship with one another that is most important.
Christmas Broadcast 2014
For every poppy a life; and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind.
Christmas Broadcast 2013
We are forever grateful to all those who put themselves at risk to keep us safe.
A speech by The Queen at Lambeth Palace, 2012
The Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country
Christmas Broadcast 2010
Right around the world, people gather to compete under standard rules and, in most cases, in a spirit of friendly rivalry.
A speech by The Queen during the Papal Visit, 2010
Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace.
Christmas Broadcast 2008
When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.
Christmas Broadcast 2006
The birth of a baby brings great happiness - but then the business of growing up begins.
Opening ceremony, eighth General Synod of the Church of England, 15 Nov 2005
When limitless amounts of information, much of it ephemeral, are instantly accessible on demand, there is a renewed hunger for that which endures and gives meaning.
Christmas Broadcast 2004
Everyone is our neighbour, no matter what race, creed or colour.
Christmas Broadcast 2001
For Christmas marks a moment to pause, to reflect and believe in the possibilities of rebirth and renewal.
Christmas Broadcast 1999
This December we are looking back not just on one year, but on a hundred years and a thousand years.
Christmas Broadcast 1998
Though we each lead different lives, the experience of growing older, and the joys and emotions which it brings, are familiar to us all.
Christmas Broadcast 1996
I remember my own childhood Christmases here, with my father and mother, and a great family gathering, and now I delight in seeing my children and grandchildren enjoying the...
Christmas Broadcast 1995
But I cannot think of any Christmas of my reign when the message of the angels has been more apt.
Christmas Broadcast 1954
So, our Commonwealth hearth becomes more precious than ever before by the contrast between its homely security and the storm which sometimes seems to be brewing outside, in...
Christmas Broadcast 1994
To see British and Russian veterans standing together, in memory of the sacrifices of their comrades-in-arms, was a moving experience.
Christmas Broadcast 1992
I first came here for Christmas as a grandchild. Nowadays, my grandchildren come here for the same family festival.
Christmas Broadcast 1991
I am constantly amazed by the generosity of donors and subscribers, great and small, who give so willingly and often towards the enjoyment of others.
Christmas Broadcast 1990
I hope that all of us lucky enough to be able to enjoy such gatherings this Christmas will take time to count our blessings.
Christmas Broadcast 1989
Unlike all the other planets in the solar system, earth shimmers green and blue in the sunlight and looks a very pleasant place to live.
Christmas Broadcast 1988
May the Christmas story encourage you, for it is a message of hope every year, not for a few, but for all.
Christmas Broadcast 1987
I hope we will all help each other to have a happy Christmas and, when the New Year comes, resolve to work for tolerance and understanding between all people.
Christmas Broadcast 1986
There are many serious and threatening problems in this country and in the world but they will never be solved until there is peace in our homes and love in our hearts.
Christmas Broadcast 1985
These success stories are often pushed into the background but they are the guarantee of our future.
Christmas Broadcast 1984
But friendship, whether we are talking of continents or next door neighbours, should not need strife as its forerunner.
Christmas Broadcast 1983
I hope that Christmas will remind us all that it is not how we communicate but what we communicate with each other that really matters.
Christmas Broadcast 1982
Throughout history, seamen all over the world have shared a common experience and there is a special sense of brotherhood between merchant and naval seamen, fishermen...
Christmas Broadcast 1981
All around us we see these acts of selflessness, people putting the life of someone else before their own.
Christmas Broadcast 1980
I come across examples of unselfish service in all walks of life and in many unexpected places.
Christmas Broadcast 1979
Today we celebrate the birth of the child who transformed history and gave us a great faith.