09 Sep 2022
The Corrymeela Community mourns the loss of Queen Elizabeth II and joins in honouring her remarkable life. Her deep Christian faith led her to be a champion of peace and reconciliation on these islands, both a steadfast servant to her nation and a true friend to Ireland.
May her family and all those who grieve find the peace she now enjoys.
‘A Uachtarán agus a chairde…’
With her greeting to the President of Ireland and other dear friends gathered in Dublin Castle in May 2011, Queen Elizabeth II brought the people of these islands into a closer relationship –– nearer to a place of healing where we are ‘able to bow to history, but not be bound by it.’
So much will be said about Elizabeth II’s place in history, particularly how her longevity and consistency provided a constant assurance for so many during a period of extensive change.
Yet I am struck today not by her consistency, but by the courageous steps she took in her final decades to advance our peace and to transform ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. The bow of her head at the garden of remembrance in Dublin; her matter–of–fact should–not–be–shocking use of the Irish language on Irish soil; the extension of her hand to Martin McGuinness. These were moments that reminded us that each moment presents the chance to repair and to heal and to break the cycle of our brokenness. With each such step, she herself moved from a worldview that saw others within an ‘Imperial Family’ to one in which she and others could reach out to ‘good neighbours’ and enjoy a mutual understanding.
As the UK reaches the end of what her first Prime Minister called the ‘Second Elizabethan Age’, her fifteenth Prime Minister remarked that this Queen was ‘the rock on which modern Britain was built.’ That very well may be so. She has also been a part of building bridges to something greater: new and renewed relationships across these islands; ones of movement, forgiveness, regret and reconciliation.
Grace and peace,
Leader of the Corrymeela Community