In his homily, Bishop Alan paid tribute to the deep Christian faith of the Queen. He said: “Today, we thank God for Queen Elizabeth’s outstanding witness to her Christian faith, the Gospel and the values of the common good, family life and peace, whilst always respecting people of different religions and cultures. We thank God for 70 years of faithful dedication to the service of others.
“In these recent days, the world has been reminded again and again of the late Queen’s profound Christian faith. One of her former prime ministers said that what made it profound was not so much what she said about it – but the fact that she lived it to the full.
“We have also been reminded of her pledge – made when she was 21 years old – that whether her life be long or short she would always be at the service of her people,” said Bishop Alan.
For the past 20 years or so, her Christmas broadcasts have become more overtly and explicitly Christian in their content. As she spoke at the beginning of the Millennium, she said: ‘For me the teachings 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.’
The Mayor of Norwich, Dr Kevin Maguire, with his consort Julie Keen, along with the former Mayor of Norwich, Cllr Vaughan Thomas, with his wife Cllr Vivien Thomas were among the civic dignitaries who attended the Mass. They were joined by Lady Clare Agnew, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norwich, representing the King, and Rt Rev Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich.
Representatives of diocesan schools, parishes and religious orders across East Anglia, invited by Bishop Alan, attended the Mass.
Pictured from the left are the Mayor of Norwich Dr Kevin Maguire, the Bishop of Norwich Graham Usher, Bishop Alan Hopes, Lady Clare Agnew Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norwich, and Cllr Vaughan Thomas.