At 10:26 pm tonight, a beacon was lit at Post Knott to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Post Knott is only 20 minutes’ walk up the hill through the woodlands at the back of our guest house in Bowness-on-Windermere. It is a great view point offering stunning views of Lake Windermere to the mountains beyond and crowds should have begun gathering at 9:30 pm.
Meanwhile, earlier this evening, at another Cumbrian location, Arnside, a beacon was lit at 10:15 pm. At the same time, a beacon was also lit at Haverthwaite, which is situated 5 miles from Blenheim Lodge and is synonymous with the steam trains that go to and from this little village. Guests at Blenheim Lodge wishing to ride the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway often take a ferry from Bowness Bay, only 7 minutes’ walk from Blenheim Lodge, to Lakeside, where they can board the steam trains.
A beacon was also lit at 10:15 pm at Orrest Head, a view point situated in Windermere, about a mile from Blenheim Lodge. Windermere is located inland but a walk up Orrest Head will reward the hiker with far-reaching views of Lake Windermere and the mountains beyond.
Hubby and I have of course been rather busy at the guest house this Jubilee weekend and have not been able to get out. However, some Australian guests who ventured into Bowness centre told me that it was very crowded in town but that there was a good vibe about the place. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and was enjoying themselves despite jostling room only in the streets, shops, attractions, and restaurants.
I think that it is wonderful that people respect the Queen and want to celebrate her 60 years as their monarch. Her sense of duty is a reflection of her deep faith in God and her service to God Himself: ‘If you look at any coin with the Queen’s portrait on it you will see round her head ‘ELIZABETH II D.G. REG. F.D.’ This is short for ‘Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fidei Defensor’. This can then be translated as ‘Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith’.’ (http://godandpoliticsuk.org/2012/02/06/the-queen-60-years-of-defending-the-faith)
Thus, it is the Queen’s own love for the Lord and her desire to serve Him in the role she was born into that has enabled her to gain the respect of her subjects despite current secularist notions. An article written on 6 February 2012, entitled ‘The Queen – 60 years of defending the faith’, reminds us of this.
The Queen’s position is inseparable from the Christian faith as the supreme governor of the Church of England. As a country we are in the privileged position of having a monarch who has a deep personal faith. One commentator on Radio 4 this morning was describing how the Queen gains strength and inspiration from her Christian faith to carry out her difficult and complex role. If you look back on her Christmas speeches over the last few years, it quickly becomes apparent just how much her faith means to her:
“The simple facts of Jesus’ life give us little clue as to the influence he was to have on the world. As a boy he learnt his father’s trade as a carpenter. He then became a preacher, recruiting twelve supporters to help him. But his ministry only lasted a few years and he himself never wrote anything down. In his early thirties he was arrested, tortured and crucified with two criminals. His death might have been the end of the story, but then came the resurrection and with it the foundation of the Christian faith.
Even in our very material age the impact of Christ’s life is all around us. If you want to see an expression of Christian faith you have only to look at our awe-inspiring cathedrals and abbeys, listen to their music, or look at their stained glass windows, their books and their pictures.
But the true measure of Christ’s influence is not only in the lives of the saints but also in the good works quietly done by millions of men and women day in and day out throughout the centuries.
Many will have been inspired by Jesus’ simple but powerful teaching: love God and love thy neighbour as thyself – in other words, treat others as you would like them to treat you. His great emphasis was to give spirituality a practical purpose.
To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.” (2000)
“I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.” (2002) . . .
“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.
God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.
In the last verse of this beautiful carol, ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’, there’s a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.” (2011)
We should be thankful to God for our Queen, irrespective of our views of the monarchy as a whole, for in her we have a great evangelist to our nation.
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