The Archbishop of Canterbury has paid tribute to the Queen, her strong Christian faith and her role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
In a video posted online to mark Pentecost Sunday, Most Rev Justin Welby said :
"Pentecost is the fulfilment of Jesus' promise that he would go away and send another comforter, someone to draw alongside us and be with us.
"The Queen has shown her faithfulness to the Church in two distinct areas - wherever she goes she goes to church. It is also seen in her faithfulness in her support for the Church by, for example, going to almost every opening of the General Synod and by the advice and encouragement that she has given in speeches and by her private advice to Archbishops of Canterbury throughout her reign.
"When she was young, before she was Queen she promised to dedicate her whole life to the service of the nation and she has never flinched from that.
"She speaks about her personal faith but never in a way that is twee, just a natural expression of who she is, clarity, humility and lived experience mean that it is genuine testimony in the most profound sense.”
The Archbishop, who missed the Queen's Thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday, because of Covid and pneumonia, also tweeted his thanks to community volunteers on national 'Thank You Day'.
Posting a message on Twitter, Most Rev Justin Welby wrote :
"I’m saying a big thank you to Her Majesty The Queen for her 70 years of service, and to all those who work in food banks and local churches. Let’s pray and give thanks today for all those who love their neighbours."
The Archbishop of York, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell also took the opportunity to thank people who have made a difference during the pandemic :
"It's a great opportunity to say thank you to all those who have been alongside us during the last difficult couple of years – family, friends, colleagues, key workers."