Press

Response to Queen's Speech 2020

Letter published in the The Times by our co-chair Dr Peter Chadha

28/12/2020

PRAISING THE QUEEN (Unabridged text)

Dear Sir/ Madam,

The Queen’s Christmas message was a multi-faith masterclass. It was addressed to people of all faiths and none facing the common scourge of Covid-19. At the start of her reign, the UK was a small overwhelming Christian country, with a Jewish minority, and some other small faith communities. The Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities already had small institutions – the first Sikh Gurdwara, for example, was founded in London in 1911, but had yet to build up their numbers. This happened in the post-War years, with migrations from Asian and African countries.

Nowadays, Britain is a multi-faith nation. The last census, in 2011, showed that approximately 10% of people belong to non-Christian faiths and this has been growing fast. The subtle references in the Queen’s Christmas broadcast recognise these changes, and serve to reinforce the ties between minority groups and the UK.