Queen stresses importance of ‘living your faith’ as she pays tribute to Songs of Praise

Queen to use Scottish 'ethos' for Parliament speech says expert

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The monarch’s message will be read out during Sunday’s episode of the religious programme, which is being recorded at Westminster Abbey. There have been nearly 3,000 episodes of Songs of Praise since it first aired in 1961.

In her message, the Queen said: “For 60 years, Songs Of Praise has drawn together congregations and BBC viewers throughout the United Kingdom in collective worship.

“During that time, the programme has shown Christianity as a living faith not only through hymns and worship songs, but also by featuring the many people who have put their faith at the centre of their lives.

“I congratulate Songs Of Praise and all those involved in the programme on its 60th anniversary.”

The Queen is head of the Church of England and has a strong Christian faith.

In Sunday’s episode, presenter Aled Jones will be joined by past and present hosts including Katherine Jenkins, Sally Magnusson and David Grant.

The show will also feature “star guests and favourite hymns, as well as some special musical collaborations”, according to a statement.

Mr Jones said: “I’ve been a Songs Of Praise presenter for over 20 years and it’s one of the biggest joys of my life.

“It’s an honour to be able to share uplifting stories of faith with our dear audience and to gladden hearts with music that means the world to me.

“Here’s to a future filled with wonderful Songs Of Praise!”

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The 60th anniversary show airs on Sunday at 2.45pm on BBC One.

It comes as the Queen formally opened the new session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday.

The monarch, who has been on her annual break at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, was joined by Prince Charles and Camilla.

Speaking at Holyrood, the Queen urged Scotland’s MSPs to “help create a better, healthier future” by tackling the challenges of climate change ahead of the Cop26 conference.

She also reflected on the “deep and abiding affection” and happy memories she and the late Duke of Edinburgh shared of Scotland.

The Queen told MSPs that, as the country emerges from the “adverse and uncertain times” of the pandemic, there was an opportunity for “hope and optimism”.

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