Cathedrals getting ready for the Platinum Jubilee

15th May 2022

Lighting up red, white, and blue, recreating HM The Queen’s reign in flowers, pipers piping, bells ringing, tea parties, picnics and new exhibitions telling her unique story and the role she has played in all our lives: Cathedrals get ready to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

Jubilee celebrations at a Cathedral near you

St Paul’s Cathedral will hold a historic Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign on Friday 3rd June which will see the premiere of a new Anthem by Judith Weir, Master of The Queen’s Music, that sets to music words from the third Chapter of the Book of Proverbs. St Paul’s has also announced a new exhibition. Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World which opens later this month and explores the history of Jubilee celebrations at St Paul’s Cathedral across three centuries spanning the reigns of King George III, King George V, Queen Victoria and the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of HM Queen Elizabeth II through objects and treasures from its Archive and Collections.

Alongside the exhibition there will be a special programme of events and late night openings in July and August. There will also be a community outreach music project, ‘Choir for the Queen’, which sees St Paul’s create dedicated learning resources to enable school children aged 4-15 from across the UK and around the world to share a video singing their favourite hymn as a musical gift for Her Majesty.

Bell ringers across the country have plans for extensive bell-ringing over the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June, with coordinated ringing on Friday 3rd June to coincide with the Service of Thanksgiving at St Pauls.

Platinum Jubilee celebrations at a Cathedral near you.

📷 Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Images.

Salisbury Cathedral’s Celebration – A Festival of Flowers has opened  with its Floral Coronation Robe taking centre-stage for the floral exhibition which is themed round the Queen’s Jubilee and the Cathedral’s past and present. The robe is made of pampas grass and gilded ferns with a specially crafted crown, orb and sceptre and will stand before the High Altar, which is covered with blue and gold cloth that hung in Westminster Abbey on Coronation Day 1953.

York Minster’s centuries-old relationship with the monarchy is the subject of a new exhibition showcasing royal treasures from the Minster’s historic collection which opens this Saturday (14 May) as part of the celebrations of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

The exhibition, Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster traces the influence of the monarchy throughout York Minster’s history from the humble baptism of King Edwin of Northumbria on Easter Day in 627 AD in a small wooden church built hastily for the service – the first York Minster to HM Queen Elizabeth II’s return to the cathedral to attend the Royal Maundy Service in 2012.

The exhibition is part of the Minster’s programme of special services and events to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Canon Michael Smith said:

“Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee gives the whole nation an opportunity to give thanks for the faithful witness and dedicated service of HM Queen Elizabeth II, a faithful disciple of Christ who has served her country for over 70 years.

“The Queen represents so much of what is good about our nation. She embodies the values of strength, loyalty and service, which, along with her abiding faith, should inspire us all to live together in a spirit of equity, mutual care and respect.

“In all that we do at the Minster over the Jubilee weekend we will be giving thanks for our Queen’s reign and for all that she has contributed, and continues to contribute, to the life of our nation.”

For further details click here.

Details of Bradford, Chester, Durham and Truro have announced their Platinum Jubilee events. Find out about them here.

Ely Cathedral will exhibit the official replica of the Queen’s Coronation dress, famously worn by Clare Foy in the Netflix drama series, The Crown series. The Octagon Tower will be lit up red,. white and blue, there will be a special floral tributes to the Queen interpreting key events, interests and pursuits in her life and extended visitor opening times, with additional tours and a special Platinum afternoon tea.

Durham, Ely, Peterborough, Rochester and Lichfield cathedrals have all announced they are lighting up red, white and blue over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

There will be picnics at Peterborough, Southwell, Bristol, Ripon cathedrals – amongst others – with live music, crafts, activities and and entertainment – and the opportunity to donate to the local foodbank as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch Initiative.

At Wells Cathedral, a funding raising event will see people challenged with a 124ft abseil down the North west tower in royal attire. The event runs on the 4th, 5th, 10th & 12th June 2022 and those taking part will hope to raise money for SOS Africa and other partners.

Ripon Cathedral has invited local people born in June to apply to be part of their Jubilee tea party. They hope to create a human timeline back to 1952 including someone born in every June of The Queen’s reign for their tea party on Friday 3 June.

Derby Cathedral has announced it will have the Derby Piper piping from the top of its tower and all our cathedrals will offer special Choral services and Evensong. Beacons will be lit, and choirs are expected to join in the new Song for the Commonwealth.

Building on a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark significant royal celebrations, more than 1,500 Platinum Jubilee Beacons will be lit across the UK and Commonwealth on the first evening of the extended four-day Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend from 2 June – 5 June.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby is amongst faith leaders who has lent his support to the jubilee campaign. He said.

“This will be a moment of remarkable celebration, as we join together across different generations, denominations, faiths and communities all over the world in proper tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

“My prayer is that this might be a chance to truly celebrate Her Majesty’s historic 70 years of service to her country and the Commonwealth, reaching out in friendship, and building community as we are reminded of our common bond under the Crown.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on 6 February 1952, aged just 25. She is the longest serving living monarch.

Please do check the individual cathedral’s website for up-to-date Platinum Jubilee news and information.