Schoolchildren to join Mayor of Chelmsford in celebrating Commonwealth Centenary

On 29 April, a large number of children are taking part in a special service at Chelmsford Cathedral from 15.30 to celebrate the Commonwealth.

The event is arranged by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, and is one of many Commonwealth services and celebrations across the country during the period of the Commonwealth Summit.

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Duncan Lumley, said, “The 100thanniversary of the Commonwealth is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate the positive impact of the Commonwealth on people’s lives across the world.

“I am honoured to have been asked by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex to take part in this historic ceremony and to do so alongside over 20 young residents of Chelmsford, representing the hopes, unity and future of this family of nations.”

Representing the five geographical areas of the British Commonwealth — Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific — the children will carry banners in a procession while wearing costumes and symbols associated with the member regions.

All are welcome to attend the multi-faith, multi-cultural service, which will also include singing, dance, thanksgiving and reflection with special speaker Bishop Trevor Mwamba.

The Commonwealth Service is part of a national celebration of the Commonwealth and the achievements of its 53 member countries over the past 100 years. It coincides with the bi-annual meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of State in London, which will be the last one to be attended by HM The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.

The Cathedral’s roof is set to be raised during the service with performances by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, the Fijian Choir, Essex Dance Theatre and the Cathedral’s own Choir. There will also be stalls with displays showcasing the accomplishments of the Commonwealth.

The event is expected to last about 90 minutes.

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