Shared by Good Shepherd’s resident expert on royalty, Marlene Koenig
As this is Christ the King Sunday, Pastor Jen asked me if I could speak for a few minutes about a royal who I think embodies faith.
It was not difficult for me to find a royal who is conscious of his faith – and is not afraid to speak about it or about religion. Several years ago he said : “[Faith] is so often under threat in our day. The whole concept of faith itself or anything beyond this existence, beyond life itself, is considered almost old-fashioned and irrelevant.”
Some may be surprised that the royal I chose is HRH The Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. He is a devout Christian, conscious of his future as head of the Church of England, but has a deep respect and understanding of the myriad of faiths throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The Prince of Wales’ family tree is filled with Anglicans, Orthodox, Catholics, and many Lutherans.
Prince Charles once said: “I said I would rather be seen as a Defender of Faith all those years ago because as I tried to describe I mind about the inclusion of other people’s faiths and their freedom to worship in this country and it’s always seems to me that while at the same time being Defender of the Faith you can also be protector of faiths.”
He makes it his mission to be inclusive rather than exclusive, openly taking part in non-Christian services.
“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.”
In 2013, the Prince took part in an event called the Big Church Day Out, where he saw first hand Churches serving Christ by Serving their communities, a message of hope in diversity..
Prince Charles said: “Spiritual dimension protects our humanity -and should be at the center of all our lives”.
He puts his faith into practice with the Prince of Wales Trust, one of the UK’s top 100 charities where each year at least 50,000 young people move into Employment, Education, Training and Volunteering. The Trust has been far more successful in helping disadvantaged youths than British government programs.
For the Prince of Wales – the future Charles III – it is music and prayer where he hears the still small voice of God.