As we all know the 6th of February marks The Queen’s Accession Day in 1952. I am sure that we will all offer a special prayer of thanksgiving for her life and dutiful service of her people over the last 67 years. In 1953 these words spoken by The Queen to women in the armed forces were published in a book entitled, “Dedication.” She said, “Be proud of belonging to a body which, in days when far too many worship at the shrine of material advantage, has always put service to the community as the first of its ideals.” Materialism is not such a modern disease after all; as chapter 1 verse 9 of the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

On the 6th of February I will be taking part in an all night vigil for the homeless. This will be held in the Chapel of St Anselm Hall in the University of Manchester from 8.00 pm through to 8.00am the next morning. Candles will be lit, a visitor’s book will be available and music will be played by the undergraduate members of Hall at various points. The Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Bishop of Manchester will all be popping in at some point to support what we are doing. It is the aim to make sure that everyone who comes along makes a practical and helpful contribution that will then be taken by Ali McKitrick, from St Anne’s, to one of the homeless projects in Manchester. I have already had a pledge of 20 sleeping bags from a School in Shropshire! What we are doing is putting words into actions and helping those who are materially disadvantaged.

During The Queen’s 21st birthday Speech of Dedication made in Cape Town on the 21st April 1947 she said, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” Unquestionably, she has done just that and her example of devoted Christian service and faith is an inspiration to so many others to do their best to put what they believe into practice. For this, and much else, we must be very thankful for Her Majesty’s life that is such a blessing.

God Save The Queen.
The Vicar