Author: mrgsponderings

A radiant smile blesses our coming days.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth taking at her 70th Anniversary but not released until this weekend

A Golden Speech from Elizabeth 1 relevant for today

On the 30th November , 1601, the First Queen Elizabeth went to Parliament and addressed 141 Members.
She had been on the throne for almost 50 years and unbeknown to all present it would be her last visit to Parliament.

The Speaker and other members thought that she would address Parliament about a number of economic concerns. In the event, her words were on an entirely different topic.

She was to die in 1603, handing the Throne over to James 1st (6th of Scotland). In the intervening period she never addressed Parliament again.
The 1601 speech has become known as the ‘Golden Speech’, not least because, in it, she tried to show how much she loved the English people. There are two particular passages relating to this:

The Queen opened with these words:

Mr Speaker… I do assure you there is no prince that loves his subjects better, or whose love can countervail our love. There is no jewel, be it of never so rich  a price, which I set before this jewel: I mean your love.  For I do esteem it more than any treasure or riches; for that we know how to prize, but love and thanks I count invaluable. And, though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves. This makes me that I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me to be a Queen, as to be a Queen over so thankful a people.

She ended with these words:

 I know the title of a King is a glorious title, but assure yourself that the shining glory of princely authority hath not so dazzled the eyes of our understanding, 

To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. For myself I was never so much enticed with the glorious name of a King or royal authority of a Queen as delighted that God hath made me his instrument to maintain his truth and glory and to defend his kingdom

There will never Queen sit in my seat with more zeal to my country, care to my subjects and that will sooner with willingness venture her life for your good and safety than myself. For it is my desire to live nor reign no longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had, and may have, many princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.

That description of Queen Elizabeth the First about herself are doubtless true but hearing them and then reading them on the day of Her Majesty’s funeral make them all the more poignant. They are sentiments so easily applicable to our late Queen Elizabeth and more, but they need no speech from her in Parliament or anywhere else. The above Photograph released yesterday, says it all.

What we have witnessed over the 12 days since Queen Elizabeth died on September 8th is a tremendous outpouring of love, in words, in deeds, in tributes, through what is now known as ‘The Queue’ where people from all over the United Kingdom and beyond queued for hours on end, day and night to file reverently passed her coffin.
The services, processions, ceremonies and times of quiet reflection all add up to an enfolding of love for a Royal Family in deep mourning and for a United Kingdom in grief.

 I can happily use the word ‘myriad’ to describe the  love we have for our 70 years of a ministry of love which is simply amazing. Her faith, her words and deeds, her concern for us has done so much to  teach us the meaning of love and service, of joy and duty, of letting light flood into our society, especially when we are at our darkest. Well might we apply Queen Elizabeth First’s words to our own Queen and know its truth.

Never have we had, nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.

[Mr G]

Thank You

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth watches over Prince Louis

“Thank you, gran, for everything.”

Prayer, Church of England 18th Sept 2022

Bring us, O Lord our God, at our last awakening,
into the house and gate of heaven
that we may enter into that gate and dwell in that house,
where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling but one equal light,
no noise nor silence but one equal music,
no fears nor hopes but one equal possession,
no ends nor beginnings but one equal eternity;
in the habitation of your glory and dominion,
world without end        Amen

(Words by John Donne, priest, poet
& Dean of St Paul’s. died 1631)


scudding cloud over Newhall. Photo Mr. G.


I have always had a delight
in the word,

So it pleased me, this morning,
to see the wispy, untamed,
wind – driven clouds,
‘scudding’ across the sky,
pure white
against sun-kissed blue.

Quite free in movement
and progress,
requesting, nor requiring,
any action of mine.
Shape-changers in a cosmic dance;
reminder that this world  is not mine
to control.

God waves merrily as he passes by.

17th September 2022

A Red Admiral calls

Photo of Red Admiral Butterfly resting on Cedum. (by Gill Henwood)

My friend Gill has sent me the lovely photo of a Red Admiral Butterfly basking on a pink sedum plant.
The Cedum is noted for the bountiful provision of nectar, hence the attraction.  Or is it just that?

A few years ago, a very dear friend died and within a very short period, a Peacock Butterfly had made its way into the home. It wasn’t the most seasonal time of year for such a butterfly but it stayed around.

There is a view in folklore that when someone special dies, a butterfly will come quietly to the home.  It is as if the butterfly touches you with some kind of assurance that your Loved one are OK. It is usually someone who has brought passion or deep love into your life. I’ve read that such a person is often someone who knew how to live life deeply.

This fits in with the colour red. Both the Peacock butterfly and the Red Admiral have touches of Red, though to be accurate, most of the Red Admiral is black and some of the colour splashes are orange.

Because, quite often, the Read Admiral and the Peacock fly close to and even on you, people sometimes talk about being blessed. You are certainly unlikely to miss them with their striking colours! It might be also that thinking about how the Butterfly flight is linked with someone who has died, then there may well be a message to contemplate.

There is a Christian interpretation about the colour red which links life here with life in heaven. Red is the colour the Church uses to convey the dynamism of the Holy Spirit. The tongues of flames at Pentecost are, like flame itself, tinged deeply with red. This is also the colour of love and God pours His love abundantly and freely upon us. This is particularly special when we are hurting and bereft. Red also is the colour of ‘martyrdom’ , witness. That the kind of ‘witness’ that draws its strength from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Two of  the things many have been doing over the past week since Our Gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth died is to ‘reflect’ on her guiding principles, faith and character as we ‘give gratitude’ for her life.
It is partly those two things which encourage us to pray for King Charles and all who will share with him in the true leadership of our United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

As we form our hopes for the future so we now entrust Queen Elizabeth into God’s hands,
in the certain hope that she will receive the gift of Eternal Life. That’s the kind of assurance God likes to give so maybe the Butterfly has a calling card to leave!