Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
Links between SPCK and the Crown go back to the time of Queen Anne, whose early support of Thomas Bray’s mission to encourage religious education was instrumental in the founding of SPCK at the end of the 17th century. The Hanoverian kings were generous donors to the Society’s work, and in 1839 a more formal link was established when Queen Victoria agreed to become Patron of SPCK, a role which has been continued by each of her successors.
We are honoured and privileged to have the support of our present Queen and are grateful for the interest she has always taken in our affairs.
Her Majesty has graced several SPCK occasions with her presence.
In 1973 she visited the Society’s headquarters, then at Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone, where she unveiled a plaque to mark the 275th anniversary of the Society.
In 1980, the Queen came to a service at St Botolph’s Aldgate to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Thomas Bray, founder of both SPCK and USPG. Bray was rector there during the latter part of his ministry, and a commemorative plaque was unveiled.
In 1998 when SPCK celebrated its 300th anniversary, both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a service at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The Archbishop of Canterbury preached the sermon and special guests included the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the American Ambassador as well as representatives of SPCK’s sister societies from around the world.
The Queen was presented with a copy of Prayers Encircling the World, an international anthology of contemporary prayer with contributions from over sixty countries representing many Christian traditions
As she celebrates her 90th birthday, we thank Her Majesty for her patronage and wish her many more happy and glorious years.