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Dear Friends,

On 2nd June 1953, Elizabeth was crowned queen in Westminster Abbey having acceded to the throne in February 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. Seventy years later we, her subjects, will be gathering all around the United Kingdom to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. No monarch has reigned as long in this country or lived to such a great age.

Elizabeth’s coronation service lasted for 3 hours and during this time the Queen took the coronation oath, which included, among other promises, the following words: Archbishop of Canterbury asked Elizabeth: “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel?” Elizabeth’s reply was: “All this I promise to do.” She then moved to the Altar, laid her right hand on the Bible, knelt upon the steps and said: “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.”

Elizabeth, at her coronation service, recognised that she could not carry our her duties as monarch without God’s help and so she asked God for the help she needed.

On Sunday 5th June we in the Church celebrate the feast of Pentecost which commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and followers of Jesus and the founding of the Christian Church

. At Pentecost the power of God comes to dwell within the believers giving them the ability to do God’s work. And this power from God is available to all of us today so that we can do God’s will and show God’s presence within us.

We are told in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Gal 5: 22-23) : the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

We may readily recognise some of these qualities, fruit of the Spirit, in our Queen Elizabeth as she has faithfully served her country for seventy years. We should not, however, feel that this fruit is only for royalty! No! God loves all of his children equally and generously gives help and strength to everyone who asks. Princess Elizabeth gave a pledge to her people in 1947 when she was 21 years old, saying “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service….

But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given.

. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.” Elizabeth knew then and knows now the value and strength of people working together with the help of God; we would do well to take inspiration from this as we celebrate her Jubilee. But more importantly, the Feast of Pentecost reminds us that without God, we can do nothing

Revd Sue Foster.