Platinum Jubilee beacons will be lit on Thursday at venues across the country including churches and cathedrals, to mark the Queen’s 70 years of service as Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth.
Beacons will be lit at venues including Lambeth Palace and St Mary’s Church in Putney in south west London as well as the tower of Derby Cathedral and outside Lichfield Cathedral, before the medieval Cathedral is illuminated in red, white and blue.
At Bradford Cathedral a vertical light beam will be lit from Thursday evening into the night sky, while in the city, a torch will be passed between faith leaders, including the Revd Canon Paul Maybury, the Cathedral’s Acting Dean, before it lights the beacon in Bradford's City Park.
Bells will ring out in cathedrals and parishes on Friday to coincide with the service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and at events throughout the four-day Jubilee weekend.
The lighting of beacons and ringing of bells comes as a more than 1,000 events and services to mark the Jubilee were posted on the church finding website AChurchNearYou.com in parishes and cathedrals across the country.
In Devon, St Andrew's Church in Ashburton is one of a number holding Jubilee-themed flower festivals. On Sunday hundreds of Jubilee balloons will be released inside the church during a special Jubilee service.
At St Andrew's Church, Sampford Courtenay, in Devon, there will be a service of celebration on Sunday that will include hymns and music from the Queen's Coronation service at Westminster Abbey, with trumpeters accompanying the church choir.
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev'd Robert Atwell, said "By custom, we call a 70th anniversary a ‘platinum’ anniversary and such a noble designation is certainly worthy of the reign of Her Majesty the Queen.
“Her constancy in times of pressure and difficulty, as well as in times of joy, has been exemplary. Public service, duty and a devout Christian faith continue to be hallmarks of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Her trust in Jesus Christ is central to her life.
“As we mark the Queen's Jubilee, let us pray for grace to build communities of trust, service and fairness worthy not only of our Queen but of the God who in Jesus Christ promises us the gift of abundant life."
St John’s Church in Kensal Green, West London, will mark the Jubilee by unveiling new stained glass windows. The Flowers of the Commonwealth were designed by stained glass artist John Reyntiens, who also designed the Diamond Jubilee window in Westminster Hall.
In Southsea, Portsmouth, refugees and asylum seekers launched a week of Jubilee celebrations at St Luke’s church with a concert that embraced art and culture from across the world.
Churchgoers and residents at All Saints Church, Denmead, Hampshire, knitted and crocheted around 2,700 red, white and blue flowers, which were sewn together to create bunting.