Chelmsford Cathedral
Commonwealth Celebrations at the Cathedral

CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL hosted a service to celebrate the Commonwealth last Sunday afternoon following the summit held in London the week before.  As the Commonwealth flag flew over the city, nearly 500 people gathered for a service which saw groups from across Essex coming together representing nearly all 53 countries.

The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, first spoke to mayors and chairmen across the county back in January, inviting them to get involved and they all responded!  Children from across Essex were invited by their civic leaders to take part in the service and over 50 children and their families’ responded meaning that nearly every country in the Commonwealth was represented.  The afternoon of celebration started with the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers who despite the cold played in the Cathedral grounds entertaining passers-by.  The procession of children in national dress was piped into the Cathedral by piper Colonel Jackie Allen and trumpeters from KEGS school.  During the service, dancers from Essex Dance Theatre interpreted music from the Cathedral Choir and there was singing from the Colchester Garrison Fijian Choir.  During the service Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.  It was an extraordinary afternoon of celebration and one that all those involved in will remember for some time to come.

To hear an extract from the Fijian choir, please click here.


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