“This year, the United Kingdom has had much to celebrate. Her Majesty The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday, surrounded by the Royal Family and well-wishers from across our four nations, the Commonwealth, and the world. Four years after the success of London 2012, our Olympic and Paralympic athletes continued to work and train – and they were rewarded by coming second in the medal table, becoming the first team ever to increase its medal haul four years after hosting the Games. Many of us will have more personal memories too, of happy times with family and friends. These are precious moments when people from many backgrounds, with different beliefs, come together to celebrate with families and communities.
“As we gather with our friends and families at this time of year we proudly celebrate the birth of Christ and the message of forgiveness, love and hope that He brings. We also think of Christians in other parts of the world who face persecution this Christmas and re-affirm our determination to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practise their beliefs in peace and safety.