Happy Birthday, Your Majesty

by Gerry Lynch last modified 08 Feb, 2016 10:16 AM

Parishes encouraged to give HMQ a 90th birthday party to remember

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty

Photo: Joel Rouse/ Ministry of Defence. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

To celebrate HM the Queen’s 90th birthday and her role as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, every parish church is being encouraged to organise a festival and an exhibition to mark the Queen's official birthday on the weekend of 10-12 June 2016.

The festival could focus on any aspect of the life of your local area that you can think of. Choral music, bell-ringing, photography, baking, beer… whatever takes your fancy! Alternatively, why not throw a 1920’s-themed dance or a tea-party?

The exhibition should illustrate the life of your parish over the ninety years of the Queen’s lifetime. A lot has happened since 1926! This is an opportunity for your community to reflect upon the changes, both great and small, that the last nine decades years have brought. It is also an occasion to celebrate the role of your church in your community as a tribute to the Queen’s religious faith and her lifetime of Christian service.

Once you have planned your project, the national team organising celebrations across the Church of England would love to know more. You can email them at queensbirthday@churchofengland.org. They will be promote your initiative on their dedicated Celebration Map and on Twitter @CofE_ChurchCare using the hashtag #HMQ90

Here are some useful links for activities that will be taking place the weekend of 10-12 June:

The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor Castle.

Pre-order your copy of 'The Servant Queen'  - a book focusing on the Queen’s Christian faith - from HOPE.

Plan your bell ringing with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers on 12 June 2016.

The RSCM Music Sunday 2016 will be held on 12 June 2016.

Caring for God’s Acre’s 'Cherishing Churchyards Week', on 4-12 June.

This project is all about celebrating your community, so get people involved! Here are some resources you might find helpful in seeking sponsorship, generating publicity, and gathering information about local history for your exhibition:

  • Your local authority and parish council, who may already be planning events of their own for you to coordinate with;
  • Other faith groups, cultural organisations, social clubs and business associations may be able to offer sponsorship, and also to share stories and contribute materials connected to their history;
  • Local businesses might be willing to sponsor your events;
  • You could use your local newspaper and radio station, and social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. – to generate publicity about your events and to seek contributions from members of the public of photographs and recollections of the history of the local area;
  • Schoolchildren could contribute to your exhibition by interviewing older relatives for an oral history project, studying the history of a particular street or building, or putting together a display of what life was like 90 years ago;
  • Your local library, museum, and records office will have lots of information about local history;
  • There are also many online resources for local history. The Local History UK website gathers a lot of useful links; the Vision of Britain website contains information about the history of the country between 1801 and 2001; whilst the Newsplan website allows you to search for local papers and gives details of where to find them.
Please consider taking this opportunity to give the Queen a birthday to remember!

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