Roots Down, Branches Out

Queen tea

I don’t remember where I was when the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday – it would doubtless have involved chasing after my four energetic sons, who were then aged from 7 to 13 – but if anyone were to ask me what I was doing during her 90th birthday celebrations, I would probably answer grumpily, “Baking scones!” As a very average cook I have been attempting to produce at least one perfect batch in time for Sunday’s garden party at Christ Church. I’ve read so many recipes, watched so many videos, that I could probably write an essay on the subject. Egg or no egg? Buttermilk or ordinary milk? Sultanas or plain? Rolling pin or patting? Such a dilemma! While mopping up flour and washing mixing bowls, I’ve also been musing about birthdays, and I finally decided to find out why the Queen has two. (I was quite jealous of her when I was a child!) It all started back in 1748, when it was first decided to mark the monarch’s birthday with the traditional ceremony of the Trooping of the Colours, when infantry regiments parade with their flags, or colours, which acted as a rallying and identifying point on the battlefield. Unfortunately George II’s birthday was in chilly November, which was deemed too dismal for any outdoor pageantry, so the idea of a spring celebration took hold. Elizabeth II’s real birthday is April 21, but the official one is usually on the second Saturday in June, when it’s supposed to be sunny and pleasant, although that is no guarantee. Of course, the Queen is not the only one with two birthdays: Paddington Bear famously has a summer birthday on June 25 and another on Christmas Day. Coincidentally his creator, Michael Bond, turned 90 this year. In fact, 1926 was a vintage year: others whose 90th birthdays are marked in 2016 include the wonderful Sir David Attenborough, Fidel Castro, Winnie the Pooh, and Marilyn Monroe…. Sunday’s tea party from 1-3pm has hot dogs, drinks, games, face painting, live music, a Highbury Heritage stall (where you can find out about the spire and heritage project, share your memories/photos/stories, even sponsor a stone on the newly refurbished spire) – and of course, Highbury cream teas, with scones from far better bakers than me. Do come along and join in the fun. I’m off back to the kitchen on my Perfect Scone Quest: a perfect time for you to catch up on the latest news from Christ Church!

THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 12 …
** 9am: Holy Communion
** 11am: Morning Worship, followed from 1-3pm by the tea party and BBQ to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday
** 6.30pm: Evening worship

AND COMING UP …
** Saturday, June 18, 4pm – our curate Liz is to be ordained priest at St John of Jerusalem, Lauriston Grove, Hackney. All are welcome at the service, and …..
** Sunday, June 19 – Liz will preside at the Eucharist for the first time during the 9 and 11am services. We will celebrate her priesting with drinks and cake after the 11am service, when we will also bid farewell to our lovely Music Director Freddie, as it is his last Sunday with us.
** Monday, June 20, 9.30-1.45: Biblical lecture on Ancient Israel, early Christianity, the lost Gospels, at Westminster Cathedral. See Tania for details.
** We need more helpers to research Highbury themes for the Heritage Project – lots of support available! Do you have any photos, stories, memories to share? Please see Janet.
** Non-perishable or cash donations for Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants always welcome: see Christine O’Brien