Queen Elizabeth II and the Church of England: The Beliefs of the Late Monarch

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Queen Elizabeth II will be buried at a state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The Queen died on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96, in her Scottish castle, Balmoral.

Queen Elizabeth II was a member of the Church of England.

The Church of England, sometimes referred to as the Anglican Church, is part of the Anglican Communion, which itself, according to History.com, contains several branches of Christianity, such as the Protestant Episcopal Church.

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The Church of England is the “primary state church” in England and claims to be both Catholic and Reformed, notes the same source.

The church “maintains teachings found in early Christian doctrines, such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed,” and “also reveres the 16th-century Protestant Reformation ideas set forth in texts such as the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Commons.” Prayer,” it also notes.

Queen Elizabeth II was a member of the Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church.
(Photo by James Whatling – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Jonathan Neil-Smith, former secretary of the Dioceses Commission and House of Clergy, as well as secretary of the House of Bishops, told TBEN News Digital via email that all monarchs are required to “either be members of the Church of England” or of “a church in communion with it”.

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Neil-Smith, who is from Surrey, England, also said: “We are richly blessed to have had a monarch under the late Queen Elizabeth who took part in the life of the Church of England and in expounding the teachings of Jesus Christ , regularly referring to them in its annual Christmas broadcasts.”

‘Christian faith meant a lot to Queen’

The Queen’s passing is “the end of an era, a major shift,” Professor Murray Pittock, a Scottish historian and Bradley professor of literature at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, told TBEN News Digital in a recent telephone interview. .

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“The Queen lived a long life” and it was “very well spent,” he said.

Bishop of Derby Right Rev.  Libby Lane (right, foreground) sings during a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the ordination of women to the Church of England, at Lambeth Palace, London.

Bishop of Derby Right Rev. Libby Lane (right, foreground) sings during a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the ordination of women to the Church of England, at Lambeth Palace, London.
(Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

“She had that general, overriding sense of duty at the expense of personal pleasure, which is not very common these days,” he added.

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“The Christian faith meant a lot to the Queen,” Pittock said.

“And I think it means a lot to King Charles too.”

In 1977, as part of her Silver Jubilee, “Her Majesty visited Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral,” said Neil-Smith.

“This was the first visit to a Roman Catholic cathedral by an English monarch since the Reformation.”

Beyond Westminster Abbey, passers-by and traffic are seen.  The Queen's funeral service will be held at Westminster Abbey on September 19.

Beyond Westminster Abbey, passers-by and traffic are seen. The Queen’s funeral service will be held at Westminster Abbey on September 19.
(Photo by Christian Charisius/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

He continued: “In 1961 Her Majesty met Pope John XXIII in Rome. She also hosted Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI during their visits to the UK in 1982 and 2010, respectively.”

He added: “Through these highly symbolic actions, Her Majesty played her part in healing the historic rift between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.”

“[The Queen] had that general, overriding sense of duty at the expense of personal pleasure; something that is not so common these days.”

Neil-Smith said that “the new king is also known for taking his faith seriously, and we pray that he will be strengthened in carrying out his new role.”

‘Establishment of the English Monarchy’

The Church of England is itself “a creation of the English monarchy,” Pittock said, because of “the requirement that the bishops of the Catholic Church in England respect royal supremacy.”

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This creation began with Henry VIII, in 1534, because he “wanted in effect to have the right to divorce Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn,” Pittock noted.

Queen Elizabeth II receives Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Windsor Castle.  He presented her with a special "Canterbury Cross" for her service to the Church of England and a quote for the cross, presented as a framed piece of calligraphy on June 21, 2022.

Queen Elizabeth II receives Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Windsor Castle. He presented her with a special “Canterbury Cross” for her service to the Church of England and a quote for the cross, which was presented as a framed piece of calligraphy on June 21, 2022.
(Photo by Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

(His marriage to Catherine was annulled.)

“There’s a battle, and then the king becomes head of the Church of England — which is basically the idea that the monarch is supreme over the pope when it comes to church appointments and church governance,” Pittock explained.

And in 1558, when Elizabeth [Queen Elizabeth I] comes to the throne, she takes the title of Supreme Governor. This is the title the Crown still holds in relation to the Church of England,” he continued.

“More interestingly, King Charles was also a member of the Church of Scotland while he was in Scotland, as was the Queen.”

As the supreme governor, the monarch formally appoints high-ranking members of the Church on the advice of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who in turn is advised by Church leaders such as the Lords Spiritual. .com notes.

“It’s a role that doesn’t quite make sense — a freestanding role,” Pittock said.

“It means that the appointment of bishops, who are basically the crown candidates, is in fact comparable to parliamentary legislators, now effectively signed by the parliamentary executive and approved by the monarch.”

On September 17, 2022, members of the public will walk past Westminster Abbey, where Queen Elizabeth II's funeral will take place on Monday in London.

On September 17, 2022, members of the public will walk past Westminster Abbey, where Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will take place on Monday in London.
(BEN STANSALL/TBEN via Getty Images)

Neil-Smith explained the coronation of monarchs in relation to the church.

English monarchs have been crowned in a church service over which an English bishop – normally the Archbishop of Canterbury – has been presiding ever since. [King] Edgar’s coronation in 973,” he said.

“In this deeply religious service,” he continued, “which bears many resemblance to the ordination of a priest or bishop, the monarch is both crowned and anointed. monarch.”

“The new king is also known to take his faith seriously and we pray that he will be strengthened in carrying out his new role.”

According to History.com, the Church’s bishops play a legislative role in Britain.

Twenty-six bishops sit in the House of Lords, they note, and are called the “Lords Spiritual.”

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“More interestingly, King Charles is also a member of the Church of Scotland while he was in Scotland, as is the Queen,” Pittock added.

“When they’re in Scotland, they’re both Anglicans and Presbyterians,” he said.

The guard changes as members of the public pass the casket of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the royal standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's Orb and Scepter, laid out on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster in London, on September 17, 2022.

The guard changes as members of the public pass the casket of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the royal standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Orb and Scepter, laid out on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster in London, on September 17, 2022.
((Yui Mok/Pool Photo via TBEN))

Interestingly, the American Episcopal Church, which is of course part of the Anglican Communion, was actually founded not by the Church of England but by the Episcopal Church in Scotland – because that church was not [in history] recognize the monarchy,” he said.

Church of England Beliefs

The church upholds many Roman Catholic customs, but also embraces fundamental ideas adopted during the Protestant Reformation, according to History.com.

Other facts the site tells about the Church of England:

The Church of England maintains a traditional Catholic system of order that includes ordained bishops, priests and deacons.

The church follows an episcopal form of government, divided into two counties: Canterbury and York. Provinces are divided into dioceses, which are headed by bishops and include parishes.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury is considered the most senior cleric in the Church.

About 9.4 million people visit a Church of England cathedral every year.