This month we are celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Her accession to the throne happened with the death of her father, King George VI on 6th February 1952. 70 years later we have an extra long Bank Holiday weekend to mark this important anniversary.
On Saturday 4th June there will be a Platinum Jubilee event open to all at the Village Hall which looks a lot of fun. We will also have special trumpet music and prayers for the Queen at our 11am Family Service on 5th June in St Mary’s. After the service we plan to pass round some bubbly for a toast to the Queen. The PCC has also decided to mark the Platinum Jubilee by planting an oak tree in the new churchyard.
I am reminded of the Lapworth Diamond Jubilee celebrations 10 years ago. A great series of events took place at the cricket ground, but the weather was thoroughly cold, wet and miserable. I remember Irene Jones arriving in royal style to play the role of the Queen. I remember Ian Winter working hard as MC to keep our moral up in the rain. I remember a barbeque and dancing in my wellies! I also remember seeing the real Queen and Prince Philip on TV as they watched a flotilla of 1,000 boats pass by on the Thames, all in pouring rain. I think Prince Philip was ill afterwards.
I’d like to express my gratitude to the Queen for her steady and consistent presence to the nation throughout my life. I am struck by her dignity and consistency through all the ups and downs. I appreciate her sense of service expressed most explicitly in the solemn act of dedication which she made as Princess Elizabeth, heir to the throne, on her 21st Birthday in 1947:
I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.
It seems to me that the Queen continues to live by this declaration. I am especially interested in the reciprocal aspect. The Queen makes a very generous commitment to serve, but she also calls us to do our part in service too. It seems to me that this pattern of mutual service to one another is an excellent basis for building a just and civilised society. Let’s all do our part.
With prayers and best wishes, Fr Patrick
Prayer for Platinum Jubilee (from the CofE website)
Gracious God, we give you thanks
for the reign of your servant Elizabeth our Queen,
and for the example of loving and faithful service
which she has shown among us.
Help us to follow her example of dedication
and to commit our lives to you and to one another,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.