The Servant Queen
The Queen turns 90 in 2016, and a new book which chronicles her faith could be a great catalyst for conversation, writes Beth Gaukroger
The Queen has served our nation all her adult life with an amazing consistency of character, concern for others and clear dependence on Christ. So in honour of her 90th birthday, the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), Bible Society and HOPE have partnered to write a book which demonstrates and celebrates both her faithfulness and her faith, with a foreword written by the Queen herself.
The Servant Queen and the King She Serves is designed to be a conversation-starter and a gift from churches to their local communities and from individuals to friends, colleagues and family. As the royal birthday celebrations unfold throughout 2016, talking about the Queen may be one of the easiest and most natural faith-sharing opportunities Christians have and this book will be a great catalyst for conversation.
Mark Greene, the Executive Director of LICC and principal author of the book, says about his inspiration for the project: 'It was a penny-drop moment for me. I always knew the Queen was a Christian but it’s the way she lives it – here’s a global leader under constant media scrutiny, working in a multi-cultural, multi-faith, politically-correct society, who’s brilliant at her job and utterly clear and unashamed about her beliefs.
'What an example of whole-life discipleship!'
The main dates for celebration are the Queen’s birthday itself, on 21 April, and her official birthday weekend, 10-12 June – these summer dates particularly hold great opportunities for street parties, neighbourhood and community group celebrations, or special church services; all events where the book could be given away easily. However, the book itself is not dated: it simply honours the Queen’s 90th year, so it can be shared throughout 2016.
Since the book isn’t a commercial product, and is intended to be given as a gift, the bulk order price (for 10+ copies) is just £1 per copy.
If your church ordered a few hundred copies, or more, how might you be able to give the book away in your local community? Perhaps you could talk to your diocese or ‘churches together’ group about a joint idea. Or maybe you could simply order 10 copies as an individual and commit to giving them away to friends or colleagues. There is also a special schools’ edition of the book, created in partnership with Scripture Union, which is designed to help kids aged 10+ celebrate the Queen and her life of faith and service.
So how might that be used in your community? For more creative and practical ideas about how and where you could share the book, and to order your copies, take a look at www.licc.org.uk/thequeen
However you’re able to share The Servant Queen, hopefully you’ll find it encouraging, inspiring and easy to pass on and God will give you many opportunities to share both the book and something of your own faith story with the people around you.
Beth Gaukroger is the Director of Communications at LICC