The Anglican Parish of Pauatahanui in Porirua, north of Wellington, New Zealand, took the opportunity to celebrate RSCM Music Sunday on 29 July with a Diamond Jubilee theme.
At a Festival Eucharist in the morning, celebrating church music, we also played some recorded music from Her Majesty the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
However, the highlight of the day was an afternoon celebration in which we joined with the Wellington Branch of the RSCM to host a “Royal Meet and Sing” for members of the parish, the RSCM, and the wider community. We gathered to sing a selection of hymns which were sung at various Royal occasions including the Coronation, the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip in 1947, and of course the recent Diamond Jubilee service.
Peter de Blois, Chair of the RSCM Wellington Branch conducted the singing, and the organ was played by Michael Fletcher, Director of Music at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington. The church was full and people sang enthusiastically for a whole hour, ending with the National Anthem and God Defend New Zealand. The rafters rang, the organ has seldom been heard to its full capacity and it was a great expression of glory to God and in honour of Her Majesty.
Following the singing a “royal” afternoon tea was enjoyed by all. We were privileged and delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in this way.