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The Revd Christine M Jones shares her experience of attending the Coronation of King Charles III

10 May 2023

The Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May 2023 was a momentous occasion steeped in tradition and history.  It was also an unexpected and moving experience for Revd Christine M Jones from Chester who was invited to attend the coronation having received the British Empire Medal in 2021 for her voluntary work.

Christine shares her personal account of the day and reflects on the experience in this blog post.

I ‘sat down’ in 2014 having retired with my husband to Chester after serving in the Liverpool District. Since leaving circuit ministry I have volunteered to follow my calling as a Methodist. My background was in food and nutrition so I was involved with the establishment and development of the Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWACC) Foodbank network whilst also working with the Community Voluntary Services to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables for those on low incomes.

christine-jones-coronation-inviteIn 2021 I was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for volunteering in CWACC and that is how, one Friday evening as I relaxed watching TV, I noticed an email invitation from the Cabinet  Office to attend the Coronation - what a shock!

It was an immense privilege to have been part of the Coronation liturgy. It spoke profoundly of God's Kingdom of humble service. Yes, there was grandeur, but the over-whelming sense was one of commitment within God's Kingdom for a human being whose reign was defined by service. Many present may have had significant national and international roles and responsibilities, but the equal worth of community volunteers was recognised and celebrated.

All along the route through the secure areas, Guides and Scouts from across the UK welcomed and supported the invited guests who then worshipped together in the Abbey. The music throughout was exceptional, the flowers were stunning, indeed the whole occasion was curated with precision and care. The flowers around the tomb of the unknown warrior reflected the beauty of the formal invitation which I will treasure.  The whole experience from the moment of receiving the email to reflecting on the day has been unexpected, affirming and a blessing I will remember for ever.