A group of six lucky pupils from Christ’s Hospital were invited to attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on 13 March.
The Commonwealth Service celebrates the people and cultures of the Commonwealth nations,.and has been held at Westminster Abbey since 1972.
The Service commenced with a procession of Commonwealth member states’ flags. As 2023 is the Commonwealth Year of Peace, a specially designed Commonwealth Flag for Peace was processed this year. His Majesty King Charles III then addressed the gathering as Head of the Commonwealth for the first time and highlighted pressing global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health and economic cooperation as areas where the Commonwealth could play an indispensable role.
The congregation of about 2,000 included the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Foreign Ministers and dignitaries from across the UK and the Commonwealth, as well as faith leaders, youth advocates, athletes and more than 750 school children.
The programme also featured performances by the Rwandan National Ballet Urukerereza, saxophonist Yolanda Brown, West End stars Roshani Abbey and Nuwan Hugh Perera and the all-female Amalgamation Choir from Cyprus. Young Samoan environmental advocate Brianna Fruean delivered a special reflection.
The Commonwealth Day Service was broadcast live on BBC One for those viewing in the UK and on the BBC YouTube channel for an international audience.
The CH group was given a short tour round the Abbey after the service, seeing where our founder King Edward VI is buried, along with prominent scientists Darwin and Isaac Newton; what a great end to a very special day!