The Anglican congregation of Hamburg is in a party mood. Not content with celebrating its own 400th anniversary this year, St Thomas Becket Church spent a lively evening on 24 May marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Taking as his motto Henry VIII’s apocryphal promise to his wives, “I won’t keep you long”, Rev Matthew Jones treated his audience to a brief and fascinating historical tour, from Henry’s break with the Roman Catholic Church to the relationship between church and state today and the Christian faith of the present Queen, taking in the influence on the Church of England of various monarchs in between.
Hamburg prides itself on being the most Anglophile city in Germany, and even non-royalists found the lecture informative and enjoyed the conversation, food and drink afterwards. Wine was generously provided by Howard Kroch, Honorary Consul of Trinidad and Tobago and Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, while the Mothers’ Unionwelcomed guests and served, and the Ladies’ Christian Fellowship introduced a new generation to the delights of coronation chicken.
As at all the celebratory events at St Thomas Becket this year, whose theme is “Extending a welcome”, one aim of the evening was to increase the visibility of the church in the wider community. Around 100 people attended the lecture, including many new visitors and non-regular church-goers, raising almost €1000 for the anniversary fund. Other events to date have included an ongoing high-calibre concert series, regular services of choral evensong sung by the church choir and visiting groups, a lecture on the changing image of the Cross through the centuries by NADFAS lecturer the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert, historical walks and open church days. You can find more information at www.stbecket400.de.
Father Matthew’s recommends: “Royal Devotion – Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer” at Lambeth Palace till 14 July – http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/royaldevotion
The picture shows some subtle branding from the St Thomas Becket’s antipodean chaplain, Matthew Jones (Photo: Stuart Cooke)
Information provided by Jo Dawes