Exerts from Her Majesty The Queen’s first and last Christmas messages were read at special service of commemoration at St John the Baptist Church in Epping on Wednesday (14 September).
Prayers were led by students from Epping St John’s Church of England Secondary School, at the service conducted by Reverend Cannon Lee Batson.
Hugh Pegrum, Deputy Lieutenant of Essex read an extract from the first Christmas broadcast by Her Majesty The Queen in 1952.
Above all, we must keep alive that courageous spirit of adventure that is the finest quality of youth. And by youth, I do not just mean those who are young in years, I mean too all those who are young in heart, no matter how old they may be. That spirit still flourishes in the old country and in all the younger countries of our Commonwealth.
On this broad foundation, let us set out to build a truer knowledge of ourselves and our fellowmen, to work for tolerance and understanding among the nations and to use the tremendous forces of science and learning for the betterment of man’s lot upon this earth. If we can do these three things with courage, with generosity and with humility, then surely we shall achieve that ‘Peace on earth, Goodwill toward men’ which is the eternal message of Christmas, and the desire of us all.
Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Mary Sartin then read an extract from Her Majesty’s final Christmas message broadcast in 2021.
And February, just 6 weeks from now, will see the start of my Platinum Jubilee year, which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness, a chance to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years – social, scientific and cultural – and also to look ahead with confidence.
I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children.
It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story.
Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all.
Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.
In the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential.
It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing, simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus – a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith.
His birth marked a new beginning.
Epping Town Council Mayor, Councillor Barbara Scruton gave the Bible reading from Revelation 21.1-7
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