Lancashire’s three Anglican Bishops have offered their congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen as she becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history.
Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch when she passed the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
The Queen had officially reigned for 63 years and seven months – calculated at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – at about 17:30 BST last night.
The Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson; Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson and Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North commended the Queen’s dedication and service, as well as her Christian faith.
Bishop Julian, Bishop of Blackburn, said: “As a nation, we give thanks to God for the service which Her Majesty the Queen has given so willingly over so many years.
“To have provided such continuity and stability for the people of the United Kingdom is no small achievement and is a cause for joyful thanksgiving.
The energy and interest she shows on every occasion are an inspiration
“To enter the record book as the longest serving monarch in these islands is worthy recognition of a life well-lived, and an example of faithfulness and commitment.
“I wish Her Majesty the continued blessing of God on her work as our Sovereign and on her family.”
Bishop Geoff of Lancaster commented: “Having recently see the Queen in action during her visit to Lancaster this summer, it was amazing to discover what else she had done in the days leading up to her visit.
“The energy and interest she shows on every occasion are an inspiration. We are constantly grateful for her devotion to duty and steadfast leadership.
“Her Christmas broadcasts frequently underline her Christian faith. She draws on that resource and is not slow to commend that faith to others.
And using Her Majesty’s ‘local title’ Bishop Geoff concluded by saying: “We salute the Duke of Lancaster and Praise God for this milestone in her reign.”
Bishop Philip of Burnley added: “The Queen has been for over 60 years a role model of service, gentleness and generosity and has been faithful in her witness to Christ. We give thanks on this special day for all she has given to our nation.”
Many churches in the Diocese will take the opportunity to mark the special day today or this coming weekend with thanksgiving prayers.
The region’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn was leading local commemorations by using set prayers.
The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev. Christopher Armstrong, together with the Bishop of Blackburn, welcomed Her Majesty, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, to the Cathedral in 2014 for that year’s Maundy Service.
At Preston Town Hall, a special statue of the Queen was unveiled ot mark the occasion.
Mayor of Preston, Coun Margaret McManus, said: “I am privileged to have been the Mayor that unveiled this wonderful bronze statue of HM the Queen. The statue is to remain outside my parlour in the Town Hall as a symbol of HM the Queens achievement of becoming the longest serving Monarch.
“The artist Peter Hodgkinson has done a fantastic job designing and creating the statue. And the students from Preston Vocational Centre have also done a great job designing the plinth to make the statue the same height as HM the Queen.”