St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, hosted the Belfast Lieutenancy’s Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Platinum Jubilee on Sunday June 5.
This was attended by an invited audience of people drawn from public life and the voluntary services (photo gallery below).
In a message to those attending, printed in the Order of Service, Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle, Lord Lieutenant for the County Borough of Belfast wrote: “By any measurement, 70 years of committed and devoted service is an outstanding achievement. In a world that is too often transient and fickle, Her Majesty the Queen embodies the steadfast integrity and constancy that inspires us all. In this special service, we take the opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ both to, and for, this remarkable monarch and woman.
“On this island, we most particularly salute the contribution that The Queen has made to building peace and reconciliation, and we acknowledge the grace of both her words and actions during her historic Dublin visit in 2011.
“May her example guide us all, and, as we recognise her selfless service to this Nation and The Commonwealth, let us be truly proud and grateful to be Elizabethans.
Also writing in the Order of Service, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, who led the service, said: “On 13th May, 2002 the Queen, with Prince Philip, visited St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, for a special Service of Thanksgiving marking the 50th year of her reign. Today we are honoured to welcome each of you to Belfast Cathedral as together we celebrate this Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s remarkable 70 year reign as Queen.
“With music drawn from across the four nations of the United Kingdom, and with participants in this service from across these islands, we celebrate the faith, courage and service of a monarch who has served her people across three generations and who has placed the reconciliation of peoples at the heart of her reign.”
Clergy in attendance included the Rt Rev George Davison, Bishop of Connor; the Very Rev Edward O’Donnell, representing the Bishop of Down and Connor; the Ven David Pierpoint, Archdeacon of Dublin, representing the Archbishop of Dublin; the Rev Sam McGuffin, former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland; the Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, Presbyterian Moderator and Preacher at this special service; and the Rt Rev David McClay, Bishop of Down and Dromore.
Guests were welcomed by the Dean. The Belfast Cathedral Choir was conducted by the Director of Music, Matthew Owens; the organ was played by the Associate Organist, Tristan Russcher, and the Cantor was the Rev Canon Gillian Withers.
The first lesson (Proverbs 8, vv1-16) was read by Archdeacon Pierpoint and the second lesson (Luke 22, vv 24-30) by the Ven Barry Forde, Archdeacon of Belfast.
Prayers were read by Sir Nigel Hamilton, Vice Lord Lieutenant, The Belfast Lieutenancy; Mr Brian Duffy MBE, Chairman, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland; Dame Judith Hill DBE, The Belfast Lieutenancy; Canon Eddie O’Donnell, Ecumencial Canon of Belfast Cathedral (Roman Catholic) and the Rev Canon Nigel Baylor, Canon of Belfast Cathedral.
The Blessing was given by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev George Davison.
Photographs: Patrick Hugh Lynch.