The events surrounding the Queen’s death and funeral last month have left their imprint on our memories, as we have watched dawn to dusk TV courage and, in some ways, participated in what for most of us was the first time we had experienced a change of monarch.
Whether you are an ardent royalist or a fervent republican, it is good to give God thanks for the way that the Queen’s faith in Jesus Christ shaped her life and influenced our society for good – and we pray for King Charles III as he succeeds her.
Perhaps one of the most striking things to witness as people queued for hours on end to file past her coffin or waited patiently on roadsides or on the Long Walk for her funeral procession to pass, was the number of times people mentioned that they felt a sense of community in the occasion. New friendships were being built amongst the crowds, and practical support was being given, received and deeply appreciated. As some put it, “Everyone’s very friendly, and we’re all here for the same thing, which is to honour the Queen. We’ve met people and we shared stories.” In fact, as Pauline pointed out in a recent sermon, that’s not a bad description of the nature of community.
That experience serves as a useful reminder that a significant part of the role of the Church is to model community. Pauline went on to change the quote slightly to read “We’re here for the same thing… to honour the King of kings… we’ve met people… and we’ve shared stories,” and observed that that sounds a bit like… church! Indeed, Jesus himself highlighted the importance of community amongst his followers with the words, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35, NLT)
So, as this newsletter shares news and stories about what is going on in our church community this week, may our love for each other – within our congregation, between the churches in Windsor, and also for our neighbours – speak to our community as a whole of the love that Jesus, the King of kings, has for everyone.
With our love and prayers
Matthew and Pauline