The Queen is an emblem of our social history and a source of pride

I remember as a child being told, “Your auntie Sheila is the same age as the Queen.”

But it was never clear what I was supposed to do with that information.

The Queen’s 90th birthday marks a life lived through a century of massive and rapid change.

She is an emblem of our social history, and a source of pride in shared experience among people of her generation.

Whatever your views about the monarchy, I hope that everyone could find something to celebrate in having a sovereign who has turned 90.

It says something very important about the quality of growing older.

The cult of youthfulness can be a burden for young people, on whom considerable or unrealistic expectations are hung.

But for the elderly it’s also easy to feel left behind, or simply invisible, when youth is all that matters and yours is long since spent. However, the vitality, stamina, faith and commitment to duty that have won huge admiration for Her Majesty the Queen are a reminder of the reservoirs of wisdom and experience that come with age.

Celebrating this very special birthday is an opportunity to celebrate the value of any aged person who has had a hand in shaping whatever is good and life enhancing in our nation today.

For them all, thanks be to God.

Faith Matters:

Churches across Sussex are holding events to mark the Queen’s official 90th birthday, including the following:

West Sussex

A Giant Street Party this Saturday (June 11) on Fletcher’s Field, Angmering, from 12-3pm with games, bouncy castles, BBQ and competitions. Followed by special services in St Margaret’s Church on Sunday 12th June at 9.15am, 11.15am and 5pm.

Queen’s birthday tea party will be taking place on Saturday (June 11) at the United Benefice of St Stephen’s Church, North Mundham and St Leodegar’s Church Hunston, from 3.30pm-5.30pm

Central:

The Parish Church of the Holy Cross, Downs Way, Woodingdean will be celebrating with a Flower Festival open throughout the weekend with refreshments and sales tables.

A very British afternoon is planned in the grounds of St Peter’s Church, Cowfold on Saturday (June 11) from 2pm to 5pm. Everyone is invited to bring a picnic and rugs to join the celebrations. The Cowfold Community Choir will be presenting “British Songs” and there will be a chance to try your hand at Boules and Croquet.

East Sussex:

All Saints Church in Crowborough is hosting a Queen’s Birthday Celebration this Sunday (June 12) with lots of activities and a picnic on the Green. There will be a ‘make you own hat’ competition during the family service and afterwards an inflatable assault course, face painting, parachute games, and live music.

On Saturday (June 11) at 7.30pm there will be a Charity Concert at Holy Trinity Church, Forest Row, to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. The Holy Trinity Festival Choir will be singing and Lingfield Notre Dame Junior School Orchestra will be playing. Tickets are £5 on the door.

Further events are listed at: http://www.chichester.anglican.org/events/category/queens-90th/