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06 June 2012

We should be selfless like the Queen, says Archbishop

We should be selfless like the Queen, says Archbishop

The Queen's dedication to the country challenges us to find joy in the happiness of others – that was the message from Archbishop of Canterbury at the Diamond Jubilee national thanksgiving service.

Dr Rowan Williams praised the Queen for her 60 years of dedication, starting from "the simple statement of commitment made by a very young woman… that she would be there for those she governed, that she was dedicating herself to them."

In doing so, she has reflected the attitude commended by St Paul, to "outdo one another in showing honour," said the Archbishop, adding that this attitude is not self-punishing but opens the door to shared riches by being "a willingness to be made happy by the well-being of our neighbours."

Dr Williams said the Queen has "faithfully, calmly and generously" honoured individuals and communities through her public engagements, providing living proof that public service is possible – and a place where happiness can be found.

"[The Jubilee's] most lasting memorial would be the rebirth of an energetic, generous spirit of dedication to the common good and the public service, the rebirth of a recognition that we live less than human lives if we think just of our own individual good," he said.