The Queen joins the congregation for Songs of Praise The Queen 91 joined the congregation on a s

The Queen, 91, joined the congregation on a special
episode of Songs of Praise The programme marks 150 years of the Christian
charity Scripture Union Her Majesty wore a vibrant fuschia ensemble and
sung from a hymn book The episode was filmed in December and will be
broadcast later today The Queen was the guest of honour for a special
Songs of Praise episode marking a Christian charity’s
milestone. The programme, which was filmed at at St Mary’s
Church, Islington, last month and will air later
today, commemorates the 150 years of the Scripture
Union. Wearing a vibrant fuchsia ensemble, the Queen
joined a congregation of friends and supporters
of the organisation to mark its work encouraging
children and young people to explore their
faith. Her Majesty looked animated as she joined worshipers
in singing from a hymn book The pre-recorded event, hosted by singer Katherine
Jenkins, featured readings by Baroness Floella
Benjamin. The Queen, who has a strong faith which she often
reflects upon in her annual Christmas address
to the nation and Commonwealth, sat at the head
of the congregation The congregation were entertained by a performance
dramatising the organisation’s history and heard
a new hymn, God of Unchanging Grace, by the prolific
hymn writer Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler,
gave the address and told those gathered about
the genesis of the Scripture Union He said: ‘In the summer of 1867 Josiah Spiers
met with 15 children, aged seven to 11, in the
home of Thomas Hughes, just around the corner
from here ‘At that point un-named, the Children’s Special
Service Mission, later Scripture Union, was
born On the 26th August 1868, unplanned, Josiah, whilst
on holiday in Llandudno, spelt out the text God
is love (in the sand). ‘He was helped on that beach by around 50 children
to whom he then told stories of Jesus The work of sharing God’s good news with children
was expanding.’ The Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, national director of
the Scripture Union, said: ‘It was absolutely
brilliant the Queen was able to join us, the fact
that she found the time to be with us this afternoon,
with a whole load of children and people celebrating
God’s love, is an incredible thrill.’ Songs of Praise airs on BBC One today at

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