St Paul’s Cathedral is holding a historic thanksgiving service to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service to the nation.
Conducted by the Dean of St Paul’s, Very Rev David Ison, the service will include bible readings, prayers and congregational hymns, to recognise and give thanks for the Queen’s reign, faith and lifetime of service.
The Queen will not attend after experiencing “discomfort” while watching the flypast on Thursday.
Over 400 people have been invited in recognition of their contribution to public life at both a community and national level. These guests have all been recipients of Honours in the New Year or Birthday Honours lists, many for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of the Cabinet, First Ministers of the Devolved Governments, Leaders of The Opposition as well as former Prime Ministers. Representatives from the United Kingdom Overseas Territories and Governors General will attend, along with High Commissioners and Ambassadors from across the world. A large number of representatives of world faiths will also be in attendance.
The Sermon will be given by the Archbishop of York, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby tested positive for Covid.
The Prime Minister will give a reading from the New Testament while the Dean of the Chapel Royal and Bishop of London, Rt Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, will give the Collect and the Blessing.
Before the Service begins, the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band), directed by Lieutenant Colonel Jason Burcham RM, Principal Director of Music, will play as the congregation arrives.
The service will include a new Anthem composed by Judith Weir, Master of The Queen’s Music, that sets to music words from the third Chapter of the Book of Proverbs.
Before and after the Service, the St Paul’s Cathedral Guild of Ringers will ring ‘Stedman Cinques’. This time they will be joined by Great Paul, the largest church bell in the UK weighing more than 16 tons. The Service of Thanksgiving will be the first royal occasion it has been rung since its restoration in 2021. After the service, the peal will involve about four hours of continuous ringing.
Following the National Service of Thanksgiving, the Lord Mayor of London and City of London Corporation will host a reception for Members of the Royal Family and the congregation at Guildhall.
The service starts at 11.30 am.