St Paul’s commissioned Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir to create a new anthem. It will be sung by St Paul’s Cathedral Choir at the National Service of Thanksgiving here on Friday 10 June.
But the Cathedral is not keeping the anthem to itself for a world premiere.
The piece has been written to suit both the magnificent choir of St Paul’s Cathedral and local amateur choirs - so everyone should feel able to perform it to enjoy an echo of the St Paul’s service wherever they are.
People will be able to order the anthem from Judith Weir’s publisher Chester Novello to perform at their own local services or concerts to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Scores may be pre-ordered (contact Chester Novello for more details) and will be available from early to mid May.
Chester Novello will also provide a sample of the score to view online. The text of the anthem is based on a poem by Robert Bridges – Poet Laureate in the year The Queen was born – ‘I love all beauteous things.’ The poem speaks of a person’s delight and reverence for that which comes from God, and the anthem will be joyous, uplifting and memorable.
The Reverend Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s, who is responsible for the service and for the anthem commission, 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 and surely the best-loved head of state in history.
‘Many churches and other local organisations are planning events on Sunday 12 June and you may want to include this beautiful setting by Judith Weir of Robert Bridges’ poem ‘I love all beauteous things.
‘The service at St Paul’s will be broadcast live on BBC1 on Friday 10 June at 11.00 a.m. so, whether you perform the new anthem locally or not, you can hear it on TV! We’re looking forward to revealing special moments in the service closer to the day.’
St Paul’s Director of Music Andrew Carwood said:
‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to perform a new piece by Judith Weir to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday. Music has always generated powerful emotions and singing is a wonderful way to express our admiration and gratitude to a monarch who has given this country so much.
‘Judith Weir is 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.
Judith Weir said:
‘It is a particular honour to contribute new music for this great occasion, and a pleasure to write a choral version of Robert Bridges’ beautiful verse.’
If you or your parish are planning on hosting an event why not make it coincide with The Queen’s official 90th Birthday weekend (10th 12th June)? Across the country, communities are starting to layout plans to commemorate this momentous occasion. As social and spiritual nuclei of many English communities, parish churches are seizing this opportunity and organising concerts, flower festivals, summer fairs, community exhibitions and many other events to celebrate the Queen’s life. We at ChurchCare, want you to join us by planning an event that reflects the people, values and interests of your community.
Over the past several months we have been working to provide a comprehensive online resource that will help you when you plan your individual event this June. From liturgical materials for those scheduling a bespoke service to commemorate The Queen to general advice on planning an outdoor event or street party in your community. In addition to this advice we are promoting your planned events through our dedicated celebration map, blogs like this one and on Twitter by using #HMQ90.
Here are a couple examples of what others are planning.
All Saints Church in Dickleburgh, Norfolk, is planning a street party to coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on Sunday 12th June starting with a service, followed by street games, village quiz, buskers, and a community meal. If you would like to plan a street party in your community you can find guidance on how to best do this here.
On the other side of the country, All Saints Church in Winterslow, Wiltshire, is working with their local school and community to hold a Summer Fair on the recreation ground in the village on Saturday 11th June, with a procession by school children demonstrating the decades of the Queen’s reign. And on the Sunday 12th June, there will be an exhibition of Winterslow’s local history in the Village Hall. If you are planning a larger event you can find guidance on organising Church events here.
Away on holiday in June? Not to worry, for those of you visiting St Peter Port in Guernsey, The Town Church will celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday with a special service on Sunday 12 June at 10.30 am.
Even across the Atlantic in Colombia they will be celebrating the Queen! The Anglican parishes and the British community in Barranquilla will be joining celebrate the Queen’s 90 Birthday with a street party and special screenings of Helen Mirren’s movie The Queen.
In addition to these and many more examples of celebrations other communities are planning, we have a variety of information to help you plan your event.
As many know, St Paul’s Cathedral in London will be hosting the official celebration service for the Queen on Friday 10th June (this will service will be televised on the BBC starting at 11am). For those who would like to model their local celebrations on this service, this May, we will be uploading an outline of the Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving that will be held in St Paul’s as well as the texts of Prayers and Intercessions from the service. We have already published four prayers that can be used over Her Majesty’s Birthday weekend.
We are keen to see parish churches and Church of England schools work together to plan an inclusive event for the whole community. If your church is holding a flower festivals or music concerts, could your school get involved in these? Or could you hold an event that the church and local community could be invited to? For more ideas on how your school can participate in the festivities click here.
No celebration is complete without music so why not plan a Music Sunday in your parish for the Queen’s Birthday weekend? The Royal School of Church Music can help you plan an event in your community and promote it as part of their annual Music Sunday campaign. For all you bell ringers, you can find information on when the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is planning its peal.
Joseph Friedrich, Fundraising and Development Officer, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council
Churches have been encouraged to partner with their local council as they plan festivals, special services or exhibitions over the weekend of 11th and 12th June as part of the national celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Sir Tony Baldry, Chair of the Church Buildings Council said, ‘The Church of England is a presence in every community, Her Majesty is the head of our Church and so it makes perfect sense that celebrations in the local church should be at the heart of wider community plans. This is a great opportunity for partnership between church and local government to pool resources and ideas to create really special events that will bring people of all faiths and none together to give thanks for the decades of service she has given us and to celebrate this special birthday.’
Councils have begun to advertise community celebrations on their websites and some have indicated that road closures will be possible for residents planning street parties.
Church of England schools are holding a competition to design a logo that churches will be able to use for their events which will be available to download from the Church Care website.
The winner of a Church school competition to design a logo for the Church of England's celebrations in honour of Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday has been announced. The logo, designed by Lucas Salinger, aged 10, from Potten End C of E Primary School in Hertfordshire, was picked from over 1000 entries.
Lucas, whose village school is near Berkhamsted said: 'I feel amazed that my design was chosen. I feel lost for words!'
Head teacher Andrew Morris said: 'I am extremely proud that a member of my school has won the competition, out of so many entries. Lucas is a thoughtful and talented young man who thoroughly deserves recognition for his hard work on the logo. I so am pleased that Lucas has incorporated the cross design that hangs in our church in Potten End.'
The school, which has 199 pupils aged 4 to 11, as well as a nursery will be celebrating the Queen's 90th by studying her life and having a 'street style party' to celebrate.
Official celebrations will take place in London between the 10th and 12th June and it is envisaged that church events will be integrated into local community celebrations that take place that weekend. Churches will have the opportunity to share local stories from the last 90 years through exhibitions and oral histories, securing these memories for future generations. Special prayers have been written and approved by The Queen for services marking her birthday.
Church of England schools will be sent an information pack by the Church of England Education Office with ideas for school celebrations.
A central news sharing resource for churches has been launched to encourage and equip communities as they organise celebrations to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th official birthday in June 2016.
The Church of England’s ChurchCare website will provide a virtual map of events and offers tips on themed celebrations, a helpful checklist on how to involve community partners as well as publicity opportunities.
Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester and lead Bishop for Church Buildings said, ‘Churches up and down the land will be organising myriad events in thanksgiving for the wonderful Christian service that the Queen has given, celebrating her commitment to God and the common good over ninety years.
ChurchCare will be doing everything possible to help by offering practical advice and creating a virtual space where communities can exchange imaginative ideas on how to mark this great milestone in the life of our Queen and nation.’
Official celebrations will take place in London
between the 10th and 12th June including a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral, a Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade and a street party in The Mall. It is envisaged that church events will be integrated into local community celebrations that take place that weekend.
The birthday celebration weekend offers churches the opportunity to share local stories from the last 90 years through exhibitions and oral histories, securing these memories for future generations. Liturgical resources are also in preparation and will be made available on the CofE website in the New Year.
The project encourages people to celebrate their community and provides a number of resources designed to assist in seeking sponsorship, generating publicity, and gathering information about local history.