Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has commended the Queen of England, Elizabeth II for her service to the Anglican church. Queen Elizabeth died on Thursday at her Scottish estate, officially known as the Balmoral Castle.
The Queen was a committed Christian and often referred to her faith in her annual Christmas broadcasts – the moment in the year when she was able to reflect on events and express more personal views. Until her death, the Queen was the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, a role she took up in 1953 after ascending to the throne.
Back then, the Queen was anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and took an oath to maintain and preserve the settlement of the church and the doctrine of worship, discipline, and government. She later became the first Sovereign to inaugurate and address the General Synod, the legislative body of the Church of England in person.
Since then, Her Majesty inaugurated and addressed the opening session of the General Synod every five years after the diocesan elections and when she was unable to attend the session in 2021, Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, also known as The Earl of Wessex went in her place.
Records show that every Maundy Thursday, the day on which Christians commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus, The Queen distributed special Maundy money to local pensioners. Recipients of Maundy money are normally over 70 and are nominated by their local dioceses for their outstanding contributions to their local church and community life.
The oldest recipient of the Maundy money is 101-year-old Thomas Brock, the oldest active bell-ringer in the world, having rung the bells at his local church, St Mary’s Sunbury-On-Thames, since the age of 7.
According to Dr Kazimba, the queen lived to the promises she made to the Church and now awaits the crown of righteousness. “We stand with our brothers and sisters in the UK in mourning the passing of the beloved Queen and the Head of our Commonwealth. We take hope in the words of the Bible applied to her life: She fought the good fight. She finished the race. She kept the faith.”
Kaziimba’s message comes shortly after a tribute by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, who doubles as the Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference-GAFCON Primates Council, the Most Rev. Foley Beach.
The Church of Uganda is a member of the GAFCON movement which was formed in 2008 in Jerusalem after more than 1000 members of the Anglican Church broke away from the Lambeth Conference citing moral compromise, doctrinal error and the collapse of biblical teachings in parts of the Anglican Communion. At the centre of their disagreement was the 2003 consecration of Reverend Eugene Robinson, an openly gay priest in the USA as Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.
Archbishop Beach, on behalf of GAFCON, commended the Queen for having been a faithful Christian witness to the world and a defender of the Christian faith.
“While we mourn her passing, we celebrate and give thanks for her long life and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for all the Royal family, that in their time of mourning and grief, they may find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ, and peace from the Holy Spirit, which surpasses all understanding. We also pray for wisdom in the days ahead for King Charles III, the royal household, and all the countries of the Commonwealth,” Archbishop Foley said.
The Queen’s body is still at Balmoral Castle from where it will be moved to her residence in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, to lie in rest for a short time before being carried in a procession up the Royal Mile, a central avenue, to St. Giles Cathedral for a reception service.
Afterwards, Queen Elizabeth II’s body will be taken to London on a royal train from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. If a train journey is not possible, the coffin will be taken to London via plane and will be welcomed in the capital by the Prime Minister, before being taken to Buckingham Palace.
The Queen will receive a state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey ten days after her death and will thereafter be buried at Windsor Castle. Meanwhile, King Charles III has declared that the period of Royal mourning for the Queen will be observed until seven days after the funeral.
The date of the Funeral has not been confirmed yet.