Union Flag

 The Queen






Dear Friends 


On the Queens Platinum Jubilee there are as I am sure you know parties and celebrations up and down the land.  Many people have said publicly that these celebrations are good for us because thet have brought the people together in a way that nothing else could. For we had become a divided nation on many different issues.  I don’t purpose to elaborate on that but I am sure you would all agree with the point.  However, celebrating the life and work of our queen has shown us more about what unites than what divides us. Beside who does not feel better after a good party?

Today we don’t just remember and celebrate that the queen is the longest servicing British monarch in history. Much more we celebrate the exemplary way she has shown how leadership should be exercised for the good of all. We give thanks that this monarch has put before all else in a way that few public servants or politicians can ever do, the two virtues of Duty and Service. The Christian understanding of doing this is that it involves sacrifice and although the Queen has much in the way of Earthly rewards, she has given up far more in her own life to give true duty and service to our nation.  As it says in the Prayer after Communion in the Book of Common Prayer of which I believe the Queen is both knowledgeable and fond:


And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord;…


Our sovereign and head of state must be nearly if not completely unique amongst the heads of state of this our shared planet in for so many years dedicating herself to her duty to be of service to her people.


The Archbishop of York on the radio summed it by saying that without a strong religious belief it would not have been possible for anyone to have even contemplated the role she has so ably played as our head of state.


Her life has shed light for all of us on the true meaning of the word ‘Vocation’ and we give thanks for it.






Reverend Tony Gilbert
Rector Three Valleys Benefice &
Rural Dean of Sherborne
Former Honorary Chaplain to the Queen



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Three Valleys Team Ministry


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Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy.

Sustain and support the anxious,

be with those who care for the sick,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may find comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.



For a morning and evening liturgy, published by Lambeth, to be downloaded for use at home,

please click here











The Reverend Tony Gilbert and his wife Nicola