Thanksgiving Civic Service at St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley

A Thanksgiving SERVICE was held at 6.30pm on Sunday 5th June at St Margaret’s Church, Queen’s Road in honor of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The service was jointly organized by Ilkley Town Council and St Margaret’s Church. Guests present included Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Suzanne Watson, The Most Worshipful Lord Mayor of Bradford Martin Love and Mayor Helen Love, MP for Ilkley and Keighley Robbie Moore, Councilors for the District of Ilkley and representatives of local voluntary groups. They were joined by locals for the service led by Fr Alexander Crawford (Vicar of St Margaret’s) with the Very Reverend Dr Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford, also President, and clergy from other Ilkley churches.

The service was a festival of words and music that provided an uplifting and joyful celebration of the shared community values ​​that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has upheld and upheld throughout her long reign. The St Margaret’s Choir and representatives of the Ilkley Choral Society and Cantores Olicanae joined trumpeters and organist Christopher Rathbone for music from the coronations of King George II, King Edward VII and the Queen, including Parry’s I Was Glad, Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Walton’s Crown Imperial March, as well as music composed for the wedding service of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

Extracts from the Queen’s own speeches over the years have been read with clarity and thought by local school children and community members, and some of the prayers have also been written and read by local children. In his address, Bishop Toby spoke of the vow of service made by Her Majesty on the occasion of her 21st birthday in 1947, which had just been read by one of the youths. He pointed out that keeping such a vow over a period of more than seventy years required reserves of spiritual strength and a deep commitment to a deeper meaning and purpose that the Queen had derived from her Christian faith, and he offered this as an example of how each of us can meet today’s challenges through an openness to live our lives with personal spiritual commitment.

At the end of the service there was a collection of £886.35 which will be shared between Bradford Nightstop (challenging youth homelessness in Bradford), Christians Against Poverty (a national debt counseling charity ) and the Malala Fund (advocating for every girl’s right to freedom, safe education).

A spokesman for the council said: “Ilkley Council and St Margaret’s Church would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the sense of the occasion, and in particular everyone who took part in the setting up the service, including caretakers, ushers, refreshment servers, musicians and flower arrangers The evening service was a joyous and appropriate way for Ilkley to mark the end of such a special national occasion.

Jerry B. Hatch