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Call for national unity to mark Queen's 90th birthday

22 April 2016


Sterling service: the Queen waves to well-wishers from an open-top 4x4 on a tour and walkabout in Windsor, on Thursday

Sterling service: the Queen waves to well-wishers from an open-top 4x4 on a tour and walkabout in Windsor, on Thursday

THANKS for God's protection of the Queen "that has embraced Her Majesty on every side" were delivered in the House of Lords on Thursday by the Archbishop of York. 

"We also want to pay tribute to the sincerity, wisdom and devotion which she has consistently manifested throughout her long and glorious reign," Dr Sentamu said. "They have served greatly to strengthen that bond between the Sovereign and all her Peoples."

Each of the seven Archbishops of Canterbury and of York that had served since the Queen's coronation had valued her "support, interest, faithfulness and prayers . . . more than it is possible to describe," he said. "There are very few other people to whom an Archbishop can open his heart knowing that his confidences will go no further and certain that at the end of the conversation he will go away affirmed and encouraged."

The Archbishop of Canterbury later tweeted: "Wishing Her Majesty a happy 90th birthday. Thankful to God for her ceaseless and faithful service rooted in deep Christian faith "

Last Friday, a call for national unity on the Queen’s 90th birthday was joined by the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, and the Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Govender.

The call, organised by One Britain One Nation (OBON), took place at the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Whalley Range, Manchester. It was attended by representatives of Manchester City Council and Manchester Police. OBON was founded by Kash Singh, a former police inspector, who hopes that, on 10 June — her official birthday — people will sing the national anthem, fly the Union flag, and sing “Happy Birthday” to the Queen.

“Our many cultures, faith traditions, artistry, and ingenuity strengthen us all, and make us fit to compete with other great global cities,” Dr Walker said. “One Britain One Nation stands for the Manchester of which I am proud to be part.”

Birthday greetings were sent to the Queen from Lusaka this week by the members of the Anglican Consultative Council.


Sing for the Queen

AN ANTHEM commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen’s birthday service in June is being made available for other choirs around the country to use, writes Glyn Paflin.

The anthem, by the Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, has been written with choirs of varied ability in mind. The text is based on a poem by Robert Bridges: “I love all beauteous things”. A statement from St Paul’s says that the anthem will be “joyous, uplifting, and memorable”. The National Service of Thanksgiving will be held in St Paul’s on Friday 10 June.

The Precentor of St Paul’s, Canon Michael Hampel, who commissioned the piece, said: “Robert Bridges was Poet Laureate 90 years ago when the Queen was born, and Judith Weir is her current Master of the Queen’s Music; so, in this anthem, music and verse from across the Queen’s nine decades come together to celebrate a truly remarkable woman who has been — quite simply — one of the best heads of state any nation could have.”

The Director of Music at St Paul’s, Andrew Carwood, said that Weir was “one of the world’s great composers. Her sympathetic word-setting, together with her ability to write direct and powerful music is a winning combination. We very much hope that choirs around the country will enjoy performing this piece as much as we will.”

The composer described the commission as “a particular honour”.

The score is being published by Chester Novello, and a sample can be viewed online.


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