I appreciated the mature thoughtfulness of the address made by the Queen today at the opening of the Church of England's General Synod. There's a summary of her remarks here. She takes her role as Head of the established church very seriously, speaking, in effect, as the leading Anglican lay person with a strong sense of the full setting of the CofE's mission and witness in a secular multi-cultural society to which people of all faiths and none make valued contributions. I liked the fact that she mentioned the recent state papal visit in such a positive way countering centuries of antagonism catalysed by her predecessor Henry VIII.
"Yet, as the recent visit of His Holiness the Pope reminded us, churches and the other great faith traditions retain the potential to inspire great enthusiasm, loyalty and a concern for the common good."
Being a Monarch for nearly sixty years, she has witnessed remarkable changes in every aspect of life you can care to think of, yet made wise contributions above and beyond the politics and religion of the day aiming to reconcile, harmonise and give value to all participants in an increasingly diverse society. She has put her inherited privilege (of which so many appear resentful) to good use in serving the nation. I don't think this ministry of hers is appreciated nearly enough.