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The Queen ‘a shining example of the best of leadership in a constitutional monarchy’

What a lifetime! And what a track record of diligent service.

Queen Elizabeth II knew from childhood what she would have to do. She would be the sovereign of the United Kingdom, and the head of what was then the British Empire. She would lead the Commonwealth.

She would see Prime Ministers of Britain come and go. She would be the target of something close to worship, as well as great hostility.

She would also carry religious authority as “defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England”.

This was at a time when no woman could be ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop anywhere in the Anglican world.

At her coronation, she was anointed with special prayers for her role as a leader of Christian faith.

She kept an active Christian faith all her life.

Whenever she said “God bless you” to people in a TV broadcast or in person, she meant it.

Although many people across the world will miss her, those of us who are Christians trust that she is now at peace, and resting in the love of God. Her work is done.

Queen Elizabeth was not the head of the Anglican Church of Australia.

Yet we have always prayed for her, along with everyone who leads us in government here in Australia.

And we will give thanks for her life, faith, and leadership at our Sunday service. Our prayer is printed below.

There may well be changes, in the coming years, to the the model of democracy that Australia embraces.

Some of us may welcome a change.

Yet Queen Elizabeth II will always be remembered as a shining example of the best of leadership in a constitutional monarchy.

An Australian prayer on the death of Queen Elizabeth II:

Almighty God, ruler of every nation,

we give you thanks

for the life of your servant, Queen Elizabeth the Second,

whose faithful obedience to her calling

and whose leadership marked by sacrificial service

have inspired generations of her people.

May the heavenly grace which sustained her

comfort all who mourn her death.

Inspire, we pray, by her example,

the leaders and people of the United Kingdom,

the Commonwealth, and this nation of Australia

to work together with renewed passion for justice and peace.

As you have received her into her eternal rest,

renew our trust that nothing can separate us from your love,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Reverend Dr Elizabeth Smith AM is Mission Priest in the Anglican Parish of The Goldfields.

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