Lambeth Palace reports: The Queen attends multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace
Archbishop Rowan Williams hosted a multi-faith reception today for Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Lambeth Palace.
His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Williams received Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the Main Doors of the Blore Building at Lambeth Palace. The Archbishop accompanied Her Majesty, and Mrs Williams accompanied His Royal Highness, to meet guests first to the State Drawing Room and then to the Pink Dining Room.
The royal couple met representatives of the eight non-Christian religions – the Baha’i, the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities – as well as Christian representatives. Each group of faith leaders was gathered around a sacred object selected by them for display at the Celebration as an object of particular significance to the faith or practice of their community, or their life in the United Kingdom…
Scroll down for the full texts of the speeches, and there are audio links as well.
The text of the Queen’s speech is also here.
Press Association Queen says the Church of England is misunderstood
Guardian Editorial: Faith and the state: turn the other cheek
New Statesman Nelson Jones Defending the Faith
…In such a context, it becomes politic for the monarch — whose own role is supposed to embody unity rather than division — to assert that the established church has been responsible for Britain’s tradition of religious tolerance and pluralism. Historically, however, this is at best misleading, at worst a deliberate distortion.
In truth, the Church of England fought for centuries to preserve, first its religious monopoly and later its privileged position in society. The right to worship — or not to worship — freely was wrested piecemeal from unwilling Anglican prelates. Well into the nineteenth century Roman Catholics and Jews had limited civil rights. Until the University Tests Act of 1871 — that’s 1871 — non-Anglicans were barred from fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge (though not at University College London, which was founded in 1826 on the radical principle that higher education need not be a monopoly of the established Church)…