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Queen visits Lambeth Palace for Diamond Jubilee reception

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Lambeth Palace on Wednesday for a multi-faith event to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Queen visits Lambeth Palace for Diamond Jubilee reception
Photo by Andrew Dunsmore; courtesy of Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Williams hosted the reception which was attended by leading representatives of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities in the United Kingdom.

Each group of faith leaders was gathered around a sacred object selected by them for display at the reception as an object of particular significance to the faith or practice of their community or their life in the UK.

In his speech the Archbishop praised the way that the Queen has articulated her faith in her public declarations.

"A clear and explicit commitment to Christian doctrine does not mean an anxious or arrogant spirit that seeks to exclude the commitments of others," he said.

"Instead it is a reason to be generous, to seek to exercise responsibility for the good of an entire national community, made up of very diverse parts.

"Our Christian faith tells us that no-one flourishes unless all flourish; and this ought to turn us away from any attitude of superiority or partisanship as Christians. Strong Christian faith should be a guarantee for the well-being of all."

In her reply the Queen spoke about the modern role of the Anglican church in this country: "Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nationís life," she said.

"The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country."

This Summer the palace is hosting a public exhibition called Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer which will highlight the links between religion and royalty.

On Monday 4 June Lambeth Palace is expected to be one of the venues for the nationwide network of beacons to be lit as part of the Diamond Jubilee weeekend.

A decade ago the Queen visited the palace for a garden party as part of her golden jubilee celebrations.

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