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Church of England commissions prayers marking Queen's long reign

by Desmond Busteed

On Wednesday Queen Elizabeth II beats the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria - 63 years and 7 months - more than a century ago.

The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and her faith has been an important part of her life.

The prayers have been drawn up by the Church's Liturgical Commission and approved by Buckingham Palace to be read at services across the country.

One gives "heartfelt thanks for her service to her people", while another expresses gratitude that "you have given Elizabeth our Queen a heart to serve her people, and have kept her devoted in this service beyond all who were before her".

"She's a person and great faith and great commitment and I think she is I'm sure very thankful for the wonderful degree of health she's had over these many years, [which has] allowed her to give such faithful service," said Minister Ken Mackenzie to Premier, who leads Sunday service at Crathie church, where the royal family worship during visits to their Balmoral.


At Westminster Abbey, where the Queen married the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 and had her coronation in 1953, bell ringers will also ring a quarter peal at 11.30am for 50 minutes.

Worcester Cathedral will mark the event with a peal of bells entitled 5040 changes of Cambridge Surprise Maximus, starting at midday.

The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev John Inge, said: "This is a very significant day on which Her Majesty the Queen becomes our longest ever reigning monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria.

"I encourage as much ringing as possible in the diocese on that day and during the week as a mark of appreciation not only of the length of the Queen's reign but of her magnificent Christian service throughout it."

The Holy Innocents' Church in Kidderminster is holding a special morning service, followed by the planting of 64 daffodil bulbs to mark the Queen's almost 64 years on the throne.

Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex will ring a three-hour peal on September 10 - the day after the monarch reaches her milestone - starting at just after 1pm.

Listen to Crathie Kirk minister Ken Mackenzie speaking to to Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour:

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