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Bishop of Carlisle to attend Queen’s 90th birthday National Service of Thanksgiving

The Bishop of Carlisle is to attend the Queen’s 90th birthday National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow.

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome will be there in his role as Clerk of the Closet to the monarch, a position he took up in 2014.

Bishop James said: “It’s a huge privilege to be involved in the service at St Paul’s Cathedral marking and celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday.

“It seems very appropriate that there should be this church service given Her Majesty’s clear statement of Christian faith in so many of her Christmas broadcasts and the fact that it has been an anchor and source of strength, hope and encouragement to her throughout.”

As Clerk of the Closet, Bishop James presides over the Queen’s Chaplains and has responsibility for presenting new diocesan bishops to the Sovereign to pay homage.

Other duties include suggesting possible names to the Private Secretary to the Sovereign, should a vacancy occur in the list of Chaplains and preaching annually in the Chapel Royal.

The National Service of Thanksgiving will take place from 11am tomorrow at St Paul’s and will be broadcast live on BBC One.

Meanwhile the Rev’d Canon Geoffrey Ravalde, the vicar of St Mary’s Wigton and who is also one of 36 Chaplains to the Queen, will read the lesson at a service of celebration at Carlisle Cathedral.

He said: “Her Majesty the Queen has been at the head of the Church of England for over 60 years and has been a wonderful example of faithfulness and loyalty to the Christian church and the faith it teaches.

“People of all faiths and none have good reason to be grateful for her service to the Church and country.”

He was appointed chaplain to the Queen in 2014. One of the official duties of the honorary position is to preach once a year at the Chapel Royal in the Palace of St James.

Carlisle Cathedral’s Choral Evensong celebratory service for the Queen’s 90th birthday will take place tomorrow (Friday 10 June) from 5.30pm and will be attended by the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman and the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, the Rt Hon Lord Inglewood.

Two hundred people have confirmed attendance with the county celebratory service open to all. People asked to be seated from 5.15pm.

It will be followed by a Songs of Praise service at the Cathedral on Sunday 12 June from 3pm, which will be attended by Bishop James and will include music which has royal association as well as extracts read from The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, a recently published book which looks at the Queen’s faith and the impact it has had on her service to the nation.



For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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