Diamond memories in the making

Ducklington Primary Schoolchildren in Oxfordshire will each receive a souvenir edition of the New Testament this summer to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Their 200 copies are some of the 120,000 advance orders received in just two weeks since the publication was announced by HOPE, the Church of England and Biblica, who are working together on the publishing project.
The Ducklington children will receive their New Testaments as part of the school’s celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Lay Reader Ruth Edy explains: “It is a C of E school and my husband is the vicar of the parish church. We have been working closely with the head of the primary school, doing assemblies, using the church for special services, and involving the schoolchildren in special church events. The head has asked us to be involved in the school’s celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
Ruth was given a New Testament 60 years ago to mark the Queen’s coronation. She will be taking her 60-year-old New Testament to show the Ducklington school children at their celebration assembly. Ruth will explain that the Bible was described as ‘the most valuable thing this world affords’ when it was presented to the Queen at the coronation.
True to the spirit of HOPE, which encourages churches to do more together in mission, in words and action, St Bartholomew’s is working with Ducklington Baptist Church to ensure that a total of 300 local children will be given a specially inscribed Diamond Jubilee New Testament.

Diamond memories
In the north of England, a Cumbrian youth project is also planning to give away the special New Testaments. The Shackles Off youth project in Seascale have ordered 100 copies to give away as part of their local Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Events include a community celebration afternoon on Tuesday 5 June with dressing up and a sing-a-long-a-tea party. The Shackles Off project is asking Seascale residents for photographs or other memorabilia celebrating the Queen’s Coronation and her Silver and Golden Jubilees to create a display called ‘Silver, Gold and Diamond memories’.
As well as offering the souvenir New Testaments for churches and community groups to buy to give away, HOPE is supporting local churches in their Diamond Jubilee events with a range of resources and ideas for use in schools, residential care homes and at Big Jubilee lunches, which can be downloaded free from http://www.hopetogether.org.uk.

Souvenirs for seniors
Heathervale Baptist Church in Addlestone, Surrey, runs regular Seniors’ Tea Parties. In the run-up to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations their tea party for around 50 elderly people will have a special Diamond Jubilee theme. They will be giving each guest a copy of a special souvenir brochure produced by HOPE and CPO, which includes pictures of the Queen’s life and the words of a Grace specially written to be used at Big Jubilee Lunches and events.
HOPE’s resources also include a Big Thank You sheet, which anyone can download to write a special thank you message to the Queen for her 60 years of service to the nation and Commonwealth. The Big Thank You letters will be collected and presented to Her Majesty.
Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE, said: “We hope that many churches will be at the heart of their communities as they celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, using the resources from HOPE to give this mission moment lasting impact.”

The limited edition Diamond Jubilee New Testament, with eight pages of images from the Coronation and the Queen’s life linking her 60-year reign and her Christian faith, is available to order online at http://diamondjubileebibles.eventbrite.com in packs of 50 at just 50p a copy. Orders close on 1 May.

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