7 May 2023 • Articles
As I write this letter, the King’s Coronation is about to take place and I trust that you all have been planning special services and festivities to pray for him, to rejoice with him as he takes on this major role and to give thanks for his willingness to continue the unswerving loyalty to a servant role, which his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth 11 fulfilled over seventy years as she strengthened links with other countries as Head of the Commonwealth, visited countries abroad and received guests from overseas. I am sure that King Charles will willingly follow in her footsteps and so let us rejoice in the fact that we live in a democratic monarchy, where our monarch is not there to rule by “divine right”, but to serve his people as a symbol of tolerance, freedom of expression and integrity.
I hope that you will be able to share with gladness the activities of your communities, whatever they may be. I remember fondly the Coronation in 1953, when my family was able to join with many others to watch the Coronation on the television in St Mary’s Church, Bucknall as, like many people, we did not have a television at that point! My Primary School at Bagnall (now sadly destroyed by a fire some years ago) took the ten-year-olds to Windsor on a day trip. That was such a delightful experience for me, and my mother encouraged me to create a scrap book to record everything about this important event in my life!
Giving thanks for our King is an opportunity to thank God for all that is so good in our lives. Our news is so dominated by the injustices and sadness of the world – violence, disaster, war, terrorism - that it is so easy to be blind to the many joys and acts of goodness and love that are there in everyday life.
The Bible has several accounts of kingship in its finest forms though it does not hide the fact that they sometimes got things wrong. It depicts Solomon's reign as an era of unprecedented prosperity due to his wisdom, a quality bestowed upon him by God. In a dream, God had asked him what he wanted most, and Solomon replied, “an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil” (I Kings 3:9). He built the first great Temple in Jerusalem, established peaceful relations with surrounding nations, and ruled Israel with wisdom and justice. He contributed books to the biblical canon including Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs, and made many decrees that kept religious observance on a high level. The king had an important function to play as Yahweh’s viceroy, concerned to preserve peace, justice and righteousness in the land. He made some mistakes, but nobody's infallible!
King Charles is the longest-waiting heir apparent, and he’s the oldest British monarch to ever take the throne. May God bless him and the Queen Consort as they enter this important new chapter of their lives.
Love and peace,
Irene is an OLM in the Uttoxeter Area of Parishes and Self-Supporting Minister at Checkley.