On Friday 5th of May, S. Anselm’s celebrated the coronation of King Charles III with a commemorative service on the Head’s Lawn. The event was well attended with over 50 parents joining in the celebrations. The choir, fresh from their tour to Dublin, sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” by J Rutter and “Down by the Salley Gardens.”
The commemorative service was a solemn but celebratory occasion with prayers, music, and readings. Our Chair of Governors, Mr Richard Bowker, planted an oak tree on the lawn. The oak holds significant spiritual meaning in England. The oak tree has been an important symbol throughout history. From its roots in Celtic mythology, where it was considered sacred and associated with the gods of thunder and lightning, to Christianity, where it symbolises strength, stability, and endurance.
The oak tree played a vital role in English history. During the Tudor era, the tree was used to construct the ships of the Royal Navy, making it a symbol of England’s naval strength. It also features in the English traditions of Maypole dancing on the 1st of May and the celebration of Oak Apple Day on 29th May, which marks the restoration of the monarchy in England in 1660 under Charles II. It is fascinating therefore that King Charles III should have chosen the oak as the symbol of his coronation with all its spiritual meaning and connections with the history of our country and crown.
The choir sang beautifully, and special thanks go to Georgie, Max, George, and Kitty for their excellent reading of the Coronation Ode. However, halfway through the school hymn, the heavens opened, and the we had to quickly move inside to complete our service. The choir finished in Hargreaves Hall with “Esse Quam Videri,” the school hymn and “God Save the King.”
As a memento of the occasion, the Friends of S. Anselm’s gave every pupil a commemorative badge with the school motto and the symbol of King Charles III. Later in the day, the pupils enjoyed an indoor picnic due to the rainy weather although Pre-Prep did manage to time their dessert with the sun coming out.
The Coronation celebration was a momentous event that brought together the school community, parents, and friends. The service and the planting of the oak tree were a tribute to England’s heritage and a reminder of the country’s strength and endurance. It was a day that will be remembered by all who attended as a celebration of history, tradition, and the future of the country under the reign of King Charles III. And although we may have wanted sunshine, we were reminded that rain is seen as a blessing on such occasions.