Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8th. A woman and leader of great wisdom and dignity, she served her subjects as Queen for 70 years and six months, making her the longest reigning monarch in British history.
The British Commonwealth encompasses 56 nations. The IPHC has members and congregations in many of those nations, including Great Britain. The prayers of the IPHC global family are extended to the citizens of those nations as they mourn the passing of the Queen and the assumption of the throne by her son, King Charles III.
For the IPHC, this transition is more than passing historical interest. Our theological family tree is rooted in John Wesley (1703-1791) and Methodism, which in turn roots itself in the theology and ecclesiology of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Wesley, an 18th century reformer in England, remained a minister in the Church of England until his death.
Since 1543 the title “Defender of the Faith” has been used by English monarchs as one of the descriptions of their role. Queen Elizabeth II was known for her personal Christian faith (https://christianity.org.uk/article/queen-elizabeths-faith).
Our prayers are with King Charles III that he will comprehend the significance of this title for his reign. The Commonwealth, like the USA and other nations, allows freedom of religion, an admirable trait to be sure. But pluralism does not negate the significance of holding and sustaining the cultural and theological affirmations of historic Christianity.
In the coming days and weeks, the world will watch the funeral services for Queen Elizabeth and the Coronation of King Charles III. In both instances, we will pray for comfort and renewed wisdom for this family and their influence throughout the world.