The people of Shipley came together on Sunday April 24 to drink a toast to the Queen and enjoy a celebratory lunch in Shipley’s Andrew Hall in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.
It followed a special service in the church that included a performance of Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ by the choir with organ and violin accompaniment. The violin, played by Andrew Bernardi, was the renowned 1696 Stradivarius that recently came into the community.
More than 70 people joined in a ‘bring-and-share’ meal after the Vicar, The Rev Pat Sinton, had encouraged her parishioners to mark the occasion by honouring the Queen’s long reign and service to her people.
There were reminders of The Queen’s visit to Shipley in October 1952, when she attended the wedding of friends of the Royal Family in the church of St Mary the Virgin.
The occasion was a triumphant collaboration between young and old of their shared gifts and experiences.
Handbells were rung by the Shipley Bellringers; Sunday School children made handycrafts; the church font had been decorated with a crown and flowers of red, white and blue; bunting proliferated; the flag of St George was hoisted on the church tower in honour of the nation’s Patron Saint (April 23); and William Shakespeare – the anniversary of whose death 400 years ago was on St George’s Day – was also remembered.
The National Anthem was sung, and the Queen’s frequent emphasis on our duty to others was recognised in the church service that recalled the passage of the Bible she most often cites, the parable of The Good Samaritan.