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UK News Edward sends Queen's regrets as he delivers her General Synod address

21:31  16 november  2021
21:31  16 november  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The Queen has warned that 'none of us can slow the passage of time' in a speech delivered by the Earl of Wessex after the monarch failed to address the Church of England's national assembly for the first time in her 69-year reign.

After missing the Remembrance Sunday service at the weekend, the Queen was due to appear in person at Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Synod, but her appearance was cancelled last Thursday over health concerns.

The 95-year-old was first advised to rest by medical experts almost a month ago after spending a night at the King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, London on October 20 as she underwent preliminary tests.

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It is the first time the monarch, who is Supreme Governor of the church, has missed her five-yearly visit to the Synod in its 51-year history.

Her youngest son Edward, who read the 95-year-old head of state's speech to bishops and clergy, praised the institution for offering 'hope' during the pandemic.

He said on his mother's behalf: 'It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.

'None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.'

In her speech, the Queen reminded the church of its 'weighty responsibilities' in making 'difficult decisions' about the future of the church.

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'In some areas, there will, of course, be differing views and my hope is that you will be strengthened with the certainty of the love of God, as you work together and draw on the Church's tradition of unity in fellowship for the tasks ahead,' she said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told the Earl that the church 'draws great comfort' from the Queen's prayers.

Her Majesty's speech also touched on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic had on all faiths.

'Of course, in our richly diverse modern society, the well-being of the nation depends on the contribution of people of all faiths, and of none.

'But for people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship.

'For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness.

'Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the Church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways, such as digital forms of worship.'

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It came after Edward, the Queen's youngest son, attended an opening service at nearby Westminster Abbey, where the Archbishop of Canterbury lead a number of prayers.

The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England which passes legislation.

It was the first full in-person meeting of Synod since February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.

The 11th Synod was elected earlier this autumn for a five-year term, and will meet two or three times a year.

Members will discuss national issues including the gap between rich and poor in the UK as well as work to develop a new strategy for the Church of England, as part of the agenda in two days of speeches and debates.

In her speech, the Queen reminded the church of its 'weighty responsibilities' in making 'difficult decisions' about the future of the church.

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Edward added: 'In some areas, there will, of course, be differing views and my hope is that you will be strengthened with the certainty of the love of God, as you work together and draw on the Church's tradition of unity in fellowship for the tasks ahead.'

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The Queen pulled out the national Remembrance Sunday service at the weekend after spraining her back, Buckingham Palace said.

She is due to carry out virtual audiences later this week, but has no major public engagements planned for the rest of the year.

Concern for her health has increased given her age and due to the number of major engagements she has missed in recent weeks.

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She cancelled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland, and pulled out of attending the Cop26 climate change summit, the Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday and the Synod.

The Queen's husband the Duke of Edinburgh died in April age 99.

Saturday marks their first wedding anniversary to pass since Philip died. The Queen and the Duke would have celebrated 74 years of marriage.

The Earl of Wessex has told the General Synod 'you probably understand why' the Queen was not present to deliver her address.

Edward, addressing the Church of England's national assembly on behalf of his mother in Westminster on Tuesday, said the Queen sends her 'sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today'.

He added: 'I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply.'

The Queen, who missed the Remembrance Sunday service at the weekend, was due to appear in person at the Synod but her appearance was cancelled last week.

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It is the first time the Queen, 95, who is Supreme Governor of the church, has missed her five-yearly visit to the Synod in its 51-year history.

Major events the Queen has missed after rest orders and hospital stay

The national Remembrance Sunday service is just one of a key number of engagements the Queen has missed over the past few weeks. Here are the others:

- Northern Ireland

The Queen cancelled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland at the last minute on October 20. Buckingham Palace announced she had been ordered to rest by her royal doctors on the morning she was due to begin the visit.

The Palace said the monarch was resting at Windsor Castle but it later emerged she was secretly admitted to hospital that afternoon for 'preliminary investigations'. She spent the night at King Edward VII's Hospital - her first overnight hospital stay in eight years.

- Cop26 climate change summit

The Queen was due to travel to Scotland to address world leaders on November 1 at the crucial environmental summit and attend a major reception with other members of the royal family.

But five days before the event, the Palace said the Queen had 'regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26'. Instead, the Queen recorded a video message calling on leaders to rise above politics and tackle the global warming crisis.

- Festival of Remembrance

Each year, the royal family gathers at the Royal Albert Hall for a poignant commemorative event on the night before Remembrance Sunday. The Festival of Remembrance, where poppy petals fall from the ceiling during the two-minute silence, is dedicated to all those from Britain and across the Commonwealth who have served in the military and sacrificed their lives.

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On October 29, the Palace said the Queen had been advised to rest for at least a further two weeks and she would miss the Festival of Remembrance The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall instead lead royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the event.

- Remembrance Sunday

It was the Queen's 'firm intention' to be at the national service of remembrance on November 14, the Palace said on October 29, with her attendance confirmed in details released on Armistice Day on November 11. But less than two hours before she was due to appear, it was announced she would no longer be present because of a sprained back.

The Queen, head of the Armed Forces, attaches great importance to honouring the war dead. It is only the seventh time she has missed the ceremony during her reign.

The other instances include four occasions when she was on overseas visits to Ghana in 1961, Brazil in 1968, Kenya in 1983 and South Africa in 1999. She was not present during the 1959 and 1963 services as she was pregnant with her two youngest children.

- The General Synod

The Queen is also missing the General Synod. She will not be at the Synod service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday November 16, nor the opening inauguration session at Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England, afterwards. The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and has a strong Christian faith, and the General Synod is the church's national assembly.

It is believed to be the first time the Queen has missed her five-yearly visit to the General Synod in its 51-year history, according to Buckingham Palace. In 1970 - the year the Synod replaced the Church Assembly - she became the first sovereign to inaugurate and address the gathering in person. Since then she has inaugurated and addressed the opening session every five years after diocesan elections. The 2020 elections were postponed to this year due to the pandemic.

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Amazon’s Black Friday Live Delivers Four Star-Studded Days of Live Music, Film, Books, and More, Inviting Guests to Escape in a World of Entertainment .
Amazon’s Black Friday Live Delivers Four Star-Studded Days of Live Music, Film, Books, and More, Inviting Guests to Escape in a World of EntertainmentJohn Boumphrey, UK Country Manager said, “We’ve created this year’s Black Friday Live event specifically to give our customers a bit of an escape, whether they’re joining in person or tuning in from home. Our Black Friday experience features dozens of immersive ways to find great deals on gifts, and some of the nation’s best-loved celebrities will join us for these star-studded events.

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