Queen says nobody can stop time passing as she misses key event for first time

The Queen followed her missing of Remembrance Sunday by failing to address the Church of England's national assembly for the first time in her 69-year reign.

As she recovers from a sprained back, her youngest son Edward read the 95-year-old head of state's speech to bishops and clergy, praised the institution for offering 'hope' during the pandemic.

She said, via the 57-year-old, that "none of us can slow the passage of time."

The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England which passes legislation. It was reconvening for its first full in-person meeting since February 2020, before it was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Edward said on his mother's behalf: "It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.

"None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings."

In her speech, the monarch reminded the church of its "weighty responsibilities in making difficult decisions" about the future of the church.

"In some areas, there will, of course, be differing views and my hope is that you will be strengthened with the certainty of the love of God, as you work together and draw on the Church's tradition of unity in fellowship for the tasks ahead," she added.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, told the Earl that the church "draws great comfort" from the Queen's prayers.

Her Majesty's speech also touched on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic had on all faiths.

"Of course, in our richly diverse modern society, the well-being of the nation depends on the contribution of people of all faiths, and of none.

"But for people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship.

"For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness.

"Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the Church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways, such as digital forms of worship."

The Queen was forced to pull out Sunday's proceedings with the rest of the Royal Family due to a back injury, which comes after last month’s overnight stay in hospital.

Although the injury is said to be unrelated, the Queen has been taking it easy on doctor’s advice.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen made the decision ”with great regret."

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