Churches prepare to mark Queen’s historic achievement
CHURCHES across our diocese are preparing to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a mixture of outdoor parties, worship services, music concerts and special events.
They want to celebrate HM the Queen's historic achievement of serving as our sovereign for 70 years, remembering not just her sense of duty to the role, but also her evident Christian faith.
The events, which also include flower festivals, family events and community activities, are happening before, during and after the four-day Bank Holiday weekend.
Churchgoers and residents in one village have knitted and crocheted around 2,700 red, white and blue flowers, which have been sewn together to create long lengths of bunting. They'll be cascaded around All Saints Church, Denmead, from the church's porch into the garden and road in time for the village's Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 4 June.
The vicar, the Rev Emma Racklyeft, said: "We've counted at least 2,500 flowers, but we think it's closer to 2,700. It has been an amazing response to our appeal for people in the village - and their friends - to get knitting and crocheting. It has created more than 200 metres of bunting that will go around our building, through our garden and into the road. It has been a real community effort.
"The Street Party in Denmead is a community event that the church is right at the heart of. We'll have a bouncy castle, and gazebos with tables and chairs so people can picnic in our church garden, plus giant Jenga and Connect 4 games and children's activities. There will be prayer stations inside the church, and red, white and blue decorations. The fence around our garden will also be decorated with Jubilee decorations created by the local school.
"The main road will be closed from 9am-9pm that day, with the village's street party from 3pm-7pm. Our location means that the church can be right at the heart of those celebrations."
At Portsmouth Cathedral, there's a challenge to create bunting out of recycled material to hang on the outside the building, a royal-themed concert on June 3, and a Jubilee concert with Solent Symphony Orchestra on June 4. On June 5, there's a Big Jubilee Lunch on Cathedral Green outside from 12noon-5pm, plus some traditional games to play, followed by a special Evensong at 5.45pm. Find out more here.
You can begin celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a flower festival in Shorwell, on the Isle of Wight, from May 27-31. It includes a thanksgiving service in St Peter's Church, Shorwell, on May 29. All Saints Church, Steep, is also hosting a Platinum Jubilee flower festival between June 2-4 - the church is open from 10am-4.30pm each day.
St Peter's Church, Titchfield, is holding a scarecrow trail around the village from May 28-June 5 on the theme of 'Great British Traditions'. And the celebrations at St Nicholas Church, Wickham, include a 'Music for Monarchs' concert on May 28.
St Luke's Church in Southsea is hosting a special Platinum Jubilee Weekend. It starts with a Commonwealth Concert of art, poetry and song on Monday 30 May, presented by refugees and asylum seekers who meet in the church every Monday morning as part of a group hosted by Portsmouth City of Sanctuary. There's a community fair on Friday 3 June and an outdoor Jubilee lunch on Sunday 5 June. More details are here.
The Jubilee celebrations in the Bridge benefice kick off with an evening thanksgiving service at St Mary and All Saints Church, Droxford, with some of HM the Queen's favourite hymns chosen over the decades. There's also a service of thanksgiving at St Andrew, Meonstoke, on Sunday 5 June, followed by a Big Jubilee Lunch on the recreation ground.
The celebrations in Hambledon include an Art Society Celebration evening on Friday 3 June in St Peter and St Paul's Church from 7pm. Church bells will be rung at 12noon on June 4 and 10.30am on June 5. A there's a family service in church at 11am on Sunday 5 June, as well as the planting of the Platinum Jubilee Tree in the churchyard afterwards.
There's an evening described as 'Hymns and Pimms' at St Matthew's Church, Bridgemary, on Fri 3 June. The concert, hosted in association with the Royal School of Church Music, will start at 7pm and include hymns and refreshments. More details are here.
There's a Jubilee Big Band Concert at Holy Trinity Church, Blendworth, on the same evening. It features bands from Blendworth and Langstone and kicks off at 7pm on June 3. More details are here.
If you fancy taking the family out for a fun afternoon, why not join worshippers at Church of the Good Shepherd, in Crookhorn, on Saturday 4 June. There will be cream teas, family activities and a party atmosphere, on the green space between Apollo Drive and Trojan Way from 2pm-5pm. Read more about it here.
Meanwhile, the Big Bedhampton Jubilee Picnic will also be happening that afternoon on Bidbury Mead, Bedhampton. St Thomas and St Nicholas Churches, Bedhampton, will offer arena events and games, puppets, a tug of war, stalls, face-painting, Jubilee craft and a chance to splat the rector from 3pm. Read more about that here.
Also on that Saturday afternoon, there is a formal service of thanksgiving from 3pm at St James Church, Emsworth, followed by a cream tea in the garden. Find out how to get involved here.
At St Barnabas Church, Swanmore, they will also mark the Queen's achievement with a special service. Their Platinum Praise service happens from 10am on Sunday 5 June. It includes songs, readings and music that are known to be favourites of HM the Queen. Details here.
St Jude's Church in Southsea is holding a Jubilee Party on Sunday 5 June from midday until 4pm. After their morning service, they'll open the church and garden to celebrate with family activities. There'll be a barbecue, drinks, a bouncy castle, toys and crafts - all completely free.
And there's also a free cream tea in the gardens of St James Church, Milton, from 3pm on Sunday 5 June. Click here to find out more,