Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Service to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

The Cathedral of St Alban the Martyr, Diocese of Pretoria, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Tuesday 17 April 2012

Welcome Speech by the Rev’d Canon Mark Long

Your Royal Highness, the Princess Royal
Your Grace, Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners and Ambassadors
Members of the Cathedral Chapter
Ladies and Gentlemen

I bid you all welcome on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop of Pretoria, the Right Rev’d Dr Johannes Seoka, to this Cathedral of St Alban the Martyr and to the Anglican Diocese of Pretoria, and especially to this Thanksgiving Service to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Bishop Seoka is representing Hope Africa, our Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s social development programme, at a meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, evaluating the effectiveness of the Campaign against Human Trafficking in the region, and so is sadly not able to be part of today’s celebrations.

Your Royal Highness, it is a great privilege and pleasure to have you present in our midst as we mark this great celebration in the context of Southern Africa, the African Continent and the Commonwealth. It struck me last night, Ma’am, as you spoke at the Royal Garden Party, that Her majesty The Queen has sought, since the beginning of her reign, to hold to the principle of servant leadership, and in this she is a powerful example to us all, and especially to those of us who grapple with leadership in the context of democracy in the African environment. We humbly request, Ma’am, that you assure Her Majesty The Queen of our love and prayers for her.

Your Grace, it is good to have you in our midst again, and we look forward to your expression of God’s word to us today.

Worship is always the richer for good music, and I welcome the Choir of this Cathedral, and the Choirs of two of our top Government Schools, Pretoria Boys High School and Pretoria Girls High School, with us today.

I encourage us to draw, now, on the life-giving presence of God’s Holy Spirit as we participate in this time of worship and reflection, as we give thanks to God for Her Majesty The Queen’s continued faithful service and long reign.

Please remain standing as we sing the hymn “Praise my Soul the King of Heaven”.