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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Churches celebrate Queen's Jubilee
The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh greet crowds
Church services have taken place across the country to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

The Queen marked the occasion by attending the first-ever ecumenical service at St George's Chapel in Windsor and afterwards witnessed church leaders signing a covenant expressing their unity.

Meanwhile Princes William and Harry forfeited a chance to watch England's first World Cup match to attend a special Jubilee service in Wales.

Archbishop of Canterbury Doctor George Carey and the Queen
Church leaders attended the service at Windsor
Final preparations are now under way for Monday's events, which include a pop concert at Buckingham Palace after which the Queen will light the last in a chain of beacons stretching round the UK and the world.

In his sermon at Windsor, the Dean of Windsor, Reverend David Conner, praised the Queen for her "continuing commitment, dedication, total loyalty and unstinting service to the church, the nation and the Commonwealth".

This had been given without condition and "at times the giving will have been most costly", he said.

It had been feared that Sunday's Jubilee celebrations would be overshadowed by England's World Cup opening game.

'Historic mission'

However, many church services re-scheduled to avoid clashing with England's match against Sweden.

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave his blessing to re-organise services around the sports fixture.

Dr George Carey was among the church leaders who attended the service at Windsor, at the Queen's invitation.

Following the service, the four presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE) signed the personal covenant in Vicar's Hall Windsor Castle, in the Queen's presence.

Outside the palace
One little girl ensures she gets a good view
Those signing the covenant were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; Reverend Tony Burnham, Moderator of the Free Churches Group; and Reverend Esme Beswick, who represented the smaller churches.

The leaders committed themselves to continue the developments in their relationships.

Dr Carey said: "We are engaging in an historic mission and service to our nation.

"The eventual journey we trust will lead to one church in this land, but I don't expect it in my lifetime."

The 'People's Party' officially begins on Monday with street parties across the country and a three-hour pop concert at Buckingham Palace.

Launch new window : LONDON MAP
Click here for a detailed plan of London's celebrations

The Party at the Palace - broadcast live on BBC One from 1930 BST - will feature music from Eric Clapton, The Corrs, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, and Tom Jones among others.

Queen guitarist Brian May will start the show by playing the first notes of the national anthem from on top of Buckingham Palace.

On the same stage used for Saturday's prom, the other remaining members of Queen as well as Phil Collins and a full orchestra will join in.

Other highlights will include Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton's cover of Here Comes the Sun in tribute to George Harrison.

Younger members of the Royal Family, such as Princes William and Harry, are expected to attend.

Will Young
Will Young will perform at the Palace pop concert
Party at the Palace:
  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Tom Jones
  • Will Young
  • Queen
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Sir Cliff Richard
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Ricky Martin
  • plus 18 more artists

    Full line-up

  • After the concert, the Queen will go to the front of the Palace to light the last in a chain of beacons stretching round the UK and the world.

    The beacon will be lit by the Millennium flame - which the Queen used to light her beacon on the River Thames on Millennium Eve in 1999 - and will set off a spectacular 15-minute show of fireworks, music and moving images.

    A total of 1,956 beacons are being lit across the UK with many more in all of the Commonwealth countries.

    Tuesday will see a state procession, followed by parades and pageants in the Mall throughout the afternoon and a flypast by the RAF and Concorde.

    A full dress rehearsal for the state procession from Buckingham Palace to St Paul's Cathedral was carried out on Sunday.

    Soldiers taking part practised to make sure they do not all "concertina" during the march.

    Colonel Simon Falkner, Chief of Staff London District, confessed his troops had struggled to keep up with the Queen's State Gold Coach during a practice run.

    But he said he was hopeful things would go well on the day.

    The BBC's Jennie Bond
    "Her children attended Jubilee services in various parts of the country"
    The BBC's Philippa Thomas in Windsor
    "It was a very personal interview from Andrew"

    Key stories



    See also:

    02 Jun 02 | Entertainment
    31 May 02 | Entertainment
    31 May 02 | UK
    23 Apr 02 | UK
    02 Jun 02 | UK
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