Summer on the Mag for the Platinum Jubilee, hosted by St Mary Magdalene Church in partnership with local arts’ organisation, Freshly Greated, and Magdalen Way Methodist Church, saw an estimated 4000 thousand people converge on Magdalen Square, at the heart of the Magdalen estate in Gorleston.
The fun day was opened, on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant, by Deputy Leuitenant, Lady Clare Agnew DL. Reading a message from Lady Dannatt, HM Lord Lieutenant, she said, “For 70 remarkable years Her Majesty The Queen has exemplified duty, service and loyalty to her country and her people. Her Platinum Jubilee gives us the opportunity to acknowledge that extraordinary duty and service, and to say thank you…The Platinum Jubilee gives us too, the most wonderful opportunity to come together after the pandemic. By so doing we celebrate the values The Queen herself upholds above all others: family, friends, community, kindness and inclusion.”
The Rt Revd Alan Winton, the Bishop of Thetford, then led a prayer of thanksgiving for Her Majesty the Queen, using a prayer that had been written for the Jubilee by the Bishop of Norwich. To conclude the opening ceremony, the choir of Ormiston Herman Academy performed Rise Up and Serve, a new anthem written for the Jubilee.
The crowds were treated to a host of activities, including local creative Matthew Harrison’s installation, the Actual Reality Arcade. The opportunity to walk an alpaca, or stroke a lamb brought by local community training organisation the Bread Kitchen, also proved popular. A total of 50 contributors participated including Punch and Judy performances, face painting, rides, inflatables and community business and charity stalls. Disabled access was made possible by specialist matted pathways across the grass and curb ramps, and signs included images for those with low literacy.
The Revd Matthew Price, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church, said, “it was wonderful to see the community come together, especially in light of the challenges many are facing at the moment. At the heart of our vision as a church is to be a transforming presence in our community and we were delighted to take the lead in such a high quality, collaborative community celebration of the Jubilee.”
Local band, Emily and Zak, opened the programme on the stage outside St Mary Magdalene Church. They were followed by The High Points and Jade Murray, whilst the Broadway Bellas dance group and Tristar Twirlers also performed. Dumisani African Drummers got the whole crowd involved as they performed. The Guardsmen, street artists dressed as traditional guardsmen on stilts and The Land Girls, who performed songs from the 1940s, also roamed amongst the crowds bringing giggles and slapstick comedy as they went.
Revd Matthew continued, “special thanks go to Freshly Greated and their producers at Magdalen Way Methodist Church, to the National Lottery Community Fund, the County and Borough Councils for the road closure and use of Magdalen Square, and to all the contributors on the day, some of whom were there from the early hours until well into the evening setting up clearing away. It was our privilege to seek to follow the example of Her Majesty and serve our God and community in this way. We also hope people enjoyed receiving their free copies of the books for adults and children about the Queen and her faith.”