On Sunday, June 5 at 5pm, there was a service of thanksgiving for the platinum jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at St Mary’s Rye. It was full of pomp and circumstance and I am sure that Her Majesty would have been pleased.
As the first hymn was being played, the mace bearers, the mayoral party, the deputy lieutenant Graham Peters, ministers and standard bearers processed down the nave. The standard bearers presented their standards to the rector, Rev’d Paul White, at the high altar.
The choir, conducted by Martin Bruce, drew together musicians from Tongswood Chamber Choir, St. Mary’s choir in Rye, St. John the Baptist, Wittersham and other local singers. First came Ralph Vaughan Williams’ O taste and see, written for our own queen, then Hubert Parry’s anthem, I was glad, composed for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 and used at every such service since. Geoff Harris made the organ thunder and the massed voices filled the church.
Graham Peters, deputy lieutenant gave the address:
“I am deputy lieutenant of East Sussex and I am representing Andrew Blackman the lord-lieutenant of East Sussex who sends his best wishes and is sorry not to be here today. We know that Her Majesty is delighted by all the many and varied celebrations which are taking place across the United Kingdom and beyond in the Commonwealth. I am not quite sure of what she would have made of the Sex Pistols’ version of the national anthem and marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear but she will be heartened by the number of church services taking place today, celebrating her service.”
Rev’d Christopher Breeds remarked after the service: “St Mary’s has echoed with countless community celebrations over the centuries, but the latest, to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, was a glorious triumph of soaring music and noble pageantry which aptly climaxed this unique occasion and reflected the love that we, the people of Rye, have for our long-serving and faithful queen. Long may she reign in our hearts!”
It was a glorious end to a very special weekend. Elizabeth declared on her 21st birthday that she would devote her whole life to the service of her people and she has indeed done that and so much more.
Image Credits: kt bruce .