June 2022

It has never happened before, and it may not ever happen again! Our queen, Queen Elizabeth II, is the firstever British monarch to have reigned for 70 years, and celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. This Platinum Jubilee is something to celebrate. I hope it will be a time that many will remember; grandparents telling their children in the years to come of what an amazing time was had during the celebrations. And there are so many events taking place, both public, like the Jubilee Fete taking place at the New Road Sports and Leisure Centre, and in our private gardens with friends and family. Most of us like a party, and what a good reason to have one.

There will be a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea in the Rectory garden on Sunday 5th June, to which you are invited, but entry has to be by ticket only, in order that we can cater well for the people coming. Tickets are available from Binky’s in Belton, All Saints Church, The Rectory and Bill Richmond

What a remarkable woman our Queen is. She was never born to be a monarch but when called upon, she rose to the occasion and her whole life has been devoted to the service of the people of Great Britain, the British Empire and subsequently, the Commonwealth of nations. In my opinion, she has more than fulfilled her call to duty. For her, the anniversary of her accession will have been a bitter-sweet one; the death of her much-loved father, King George VI on 6th February 1952, happening whilst she and Prince Philip were on an official tour in Kenya.

Elizabeth was officially crowned Queen on 2nd June 1953, but it had been years before, in April 1947, in a radio speech marking her 21st birthday and her commitment to the British Commonwealth, she said “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.” Over the past few months and in the coming weeks, there have been and will be many programmes on television and radio that have paid tribute to our Queen’s remarkable service, which continues now into her 97th year.

At the Queen’s Coronation service in Westminster Abbey, there were six separate sections, including the taking of an oath and the placing the crown on the Queen’s head. One of those sections was the anointing with holy oil, when specially prepared fragrant oils were used and the following prayer, prayed.

O Lord and heavenly Father, the exalter of the humble and the strength of thy chosen, who by anointing with Oil didst of old make and consecrate kings, priests, and prophets, to teach and govern thy people Israel: Bless and sanctify thy chosen servant ELIZABETH, who by our office and ministry is now to be anointed with this Oil, and consecrated Queen: Strengthen her, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter; Confirm and stablish her with thy free and princely Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and government, the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness, and fill her, O Lord, with the Spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Oil has always been a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and anointing has traditionally been carried out to set people apart for particular tasks of calling within the church. Sunday 5th June will be Pentecost, or Whit Sunday as some of you will remember; a day when the church remembers the coming of the Holy Spirit in power upon the disciples, transforming them as people, and their lives in willing service of God. It is so good to be able to think about and celebrate our Queen and the years of willing service she has given, on the same day we celebrate Pentecost in the church. There will be services in Burgh Castle at 9.30am and All Saints, Belton at 10.30am to celebrate both the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Pentecost Sunday. Do join us, if you are able.