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As the nation prepares to commemorate the life and service of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, our Chief Executive Alasdair Bennett reflects:

“We live in days that will stand out in history, as nationally, and each in our own way, we pay our respects to Queen Elizabeth II to mark her passing and to commemorate her life.

Bethany Christian Trust is closing its charity shops, offices and logistics services on Monday 19 September as a mark of our respect for Queen Elizabeth II’s passing and to support staff in paying their own respects. Our services will however remain open across Scotland in support of individuals, families and communities. Staff members working on Monday will receive alternative holiday time.

It is little wonder how much Queen Elizabeth II is being quoted for her Christian faith and life.  Here is one such quote: “God sent his only son ‘to serve, not to be served’. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ.”

The values we aspire to in Bethany Christian Trust are foundational to everything we seek to do in Christ’s name and echo these reflections by Queen Elizabeth II:  We seek to put Christian love into action and demonstrate the transforming impact of the Gospel in all that we do:

Love is our standard | We Serve others | We Value the whole person.

As we reflect on the scale of need around us, people facing the most challenging circumstances across the country, may we be motivated to hold fast to these aspirations in our hearts and in our actions.  The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which the Edinburgh Care Van volunteers recently received, with Queen Elizabeth II’s own signature, makes it all the more poignant as one of the last awards of its type.  Edinburgh City Mission and Bethany Christian Trust are honoured to be able to add the Queen’s Award emblem to the side of the Edinburgh Care Van in the coming days.

May we all grow in living out lives of love in the service of all.”