Queen Elizabeth Attends Inauguration of New Church of England Synod

Queen Elizabeth II spoke on the challenges currently faced by the Church as she attended the inauguration service for the Church of England’s new General Synod on Tuesday.

Acknowledging the lasting values of Christianity in contrast with the rapid changes in society, the Queen considered the phenomena as "an opportunity" for Christians, according to the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.

"When so much is in flux, 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,” the Queen said, according to the Telegraph.

"The Christian Church can speak uniquely to that need, for at the heart of our faith stands the conviction that all people, irrespective of race, background or circumstances, can find lasting significance and purpose in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

According to the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), hundreds of members of the Synod of the Church of England gathered on Nov. 14 at Westminster Abbey for a Communion Service to mark another new five-year-long term. Her Majesty the Queen, who is traditionally the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, was also present by custom. HRH Prince Philip accompanied the Queen.

Synod members from all over the church, with each diocese being led into the abbey by their own bishop, marched into the cathedral, when the ceremony began, ACNS reported.

The most notable and senior leaders of the Church of England – the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu – were reminded by the Queen for the "heavy burden" of responsibility over the next few years, in face of challenges from the society and inter-church conflicts, the Telegraph noted.

Stricken by the debate between conservatives and liberals over homosexuality, the Church of England has been losing its momentum. According to the Telegraph, the Queen suggested that the efforts to promote greater dialogue within the Christian family should remain as the Synod’s priority.

The Archbishop of York, who read the gospel and assisted in the Communion, warmly welcomed the words from Her Majesty the Queen. Leaders of the Free Churches, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Orthodox Churches were also presented as ecumenical guests, the report from ACNS noted.