Sermon by Chaplain to the Queen

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undefinedOn Wednesday 9 September this year � the day Elizabeth II became the longest-serving monarch in British history, a tribute was made to her by the Revd Canon Ian Davenport, in a sermon at a commemorative service at Chester Cathedral. Ian was honoured by being made a Chaplain to the Queen earlier this year. He is also the Rector of Malpas, Threapwood and Bickerton, and Rural Dean of Malpas.

As one of the 36 such chaplains Ian will preach once a year at the Chapel Royal in London, and he is likely to be invited to other events. 

Ian thanked the Dean and Chapter for their kind invitation to preach at the special service in the cathedral.

In his sermon Ian (PICTURED above) took inspiration from the words of the letter of Paul to the Philippians … “Do nothing from selfishness, or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourself. Look to the interests of others – have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus”.

Ian reminded people of the words of the then Princess Elizabeth on her twenty-first birthday on 21 April 1947. She broadcasted to the Empire and Commonwealth from South Africa, saying: “I declare before you all, that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”.

The young Elizabeth added: “Will you, the youth of the British family of nations, let me speak for you; will you join me now and we can face the future together?”

The Princess then asked for everyone's support, trusting that it would be given. Then she prayed the grace of God that she would make good her vow and prayed God’s blessing on all who would share with her in this vow.

Ian’s sermon continued: “As we all know it was not many years later that the Princess became Queen on the death of her father on the 6th February, 1952. As many recall, she confirmed the pledge she had made in 1947 as she took her Coronation oath in Westminster Abbey.

“Today, her Majesty becomes the longest reigning monarch. We understand that she wants no fuss, never the less it is our opportunity to say a deep and heartfelt  thank you to Her Majesty for her honouring throughout her reign the pledge she made all those years ago ….

“Hers is a life lived under the kingship and lordship of Christ, and so for the Queen the words that are at the heart of the Collect for the Sovereign, in the Book of Common Prayer Communion Service, stand as her guiding principle. I quote ‘have mercy upon the whole Church and so rule the heart of thy chosen servant Elizabeth our Queen and Governor that she knowing who's minister she is, may above all things seek thy honour and glory’.

“Her Majesty, being His minister to us – seeking His honour and glory – has about her a humility, a quiet graciousness, which carry an authority too. Her responsibility is to God and it will be before Him, as for all of us, that she will one day be called to give account of her life and ministry”.

He added: “At the Queen’s side, as we all know, and with her at every turn of her life, is His Royal Highness Prince Philip, and he is so much part of her ministry to us, as are her children and other members of her family, and so our prayer is for all the Royal Family today.”

Ian concluded his sermon with this … “Let us show our affection for the Queen, for she is greatly loved as well as respected. As we salute a lady of great faith, and as we continue to accept her call to journey with her, as our sovereign, may we make those memorable words spoken by her father King George VI in his Christmas broadcast of 1939 our own: ‘And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year; Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown, and he replied go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’.”

God save the Queen!


Her Majesty – a photo reproduced by kind permission of Arun Kataria