19 May 2024

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrated as cost of empire acknowledged

St Paul’s celebrated the Queen’s 70 years as monarch, while acknowledging the effects of colonialism. Picture: Ming Zhou, courtesy of St Paul’s Cathedral

By Mark Brolly  

9 February 2022

ANGLICANS have celebrated the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign in Melbourne with a Festival Choral Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral on 6 February. 

It took place 70 years from the date Elizabeth II succeeded her father King George VI in 1952. 

The service also acknowledged the cost of colonisation, associated with the actions of the British Crown. 

Read more: Repent of colonialism, missionary conference told

The Reverend Canon Glenn Loughrey, a Wiradjuri man, shared the Bidding Prayers with the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe.  

Dr Loewe gave thanks for the length of years granted to the Queen, and her faithful devotion, dutiful commitment, loving leadership, gentle constancy, royal dignity and kindly humanity. 

Canon Loughrey prayed for those in need, especially for those suffering because of the actions of the Crown in the ongoing act of colonisation. He asked that each might be redeemed by the love of God, and of neighbour, so they might share in God’s bounty. 

In his sermon, Dean Loewe hailed the Queen for her personal faith, for her part in the Commonwealth’s transition from former colonies to independent nations, and as “an ambassador for Christ and a minister of his reconciliation”. 

“As part of the decolonisation of the Commonwealth of Nations, she has often spoken of the importance of facing up to the pain of the legacy of the empire,” he said.  

Read more: Vicar calls for permanent state of repentance over treatment of Indigenous peoples 

“‘The events [of the past] have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy,’ she said during a historic visit to Ireland in 2011. 

“Here in Australia, we still have to begin that process of truth telling, of deep and humble listening, and of acknowledging fully the harm done to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in the name of colonisation … The Queen knows ‘to bow to the past, but not to be bound by it’,” Dean Loewe said. 

The service was attended by Victorian Governor Linda Dessau. 

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