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Queen to address Church of England national assembly

The Queen will speak at the opening of the Church of England's national assembly.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen will today attend a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the inauguration of the Tenth General Synod of the Church of England.

This will be followed by the inauguration ceremony in Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England.

Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will preside during the Eucharist service in Westminster Abbey. Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, will deliver the sermon.

At the inauguration ceremony afterwards in Church House, the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, will speak and announce the inauguration of the Tenth General Synod.

The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. It came into being in 1970 under the Synodical Government Measure 1969, replacing an earlier body known as the Church Assembly.

It has powers to pass measures which, if approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, receive Royal Assent and thereby become part of the law of England.

It also legislates by Canon, subject to Royal Licence and Assent, approves or amends liturgies, and considers any other matters of religious or public interest.

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