Wyesham WI has marked the devotion of a former and special member of the Women’s Institute by the planting of a rose in the churchayrd.

A service was held at St James’ Church last week to mark the Late Queen Elizabeth ll with a service followed by the blessing of the newly planted Platinum Jubilee Rose.

Jubilee rose in St James' Church
(Des Pugh)

The service was led by Rev Tim Starling and hymns and prayers marked the memory of the Late Queen.

The opening hymn was The Lord’s my Shepherd and this was followed by Liz Hacket-Pain reading a poem, The Rose, by Christina Rossetti (1830-94).

Reflecting on the event, Rev Starling then praised the life and example the Queen had set to her people and the congregation remembering “all that she was and did through the blessing of a rose in her name”.

He said there has been something so powerful about the sacrificial way the Late Queen led one of the most modest lives and the incredible sense of integrity.

“It therefore seems quite appropriate that a rose named after The Queen should be described by its creators as “quite dependable and exceptional”.

“I often think of God as a gardener and as we reflect on the opening verses of the book of Genesis - God creates all that he did - he certainly created someone very special in our Late Queen” and he reminded the congregation that roses are sometimes known as the “queen of flowers.”

In Christianity, the rose is closely related to the idea of resurrection and return he reminded them.

”We also celebrate the incredible reign of someone who served God well and who has been an example to others.”

Following more prayers, the organist, Val Thomas, struck up the opening chords of ‘O come all ye faithful’ and following the hymn, the WI members joined Rev Starling and Neil Williams of Ernest Heal outside and as they reflected on the life of the Late Queen Elizabeth ll.

The plaque, - paid for by Ernest Heal - reads: “ Gifted to the people of Wyesham by Wyesham WI to celebrate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll - Deo Gratius”.

The Rev Starling then led the prayer saying: “Almighty God, who placed Adam and Eve in a garden of delights, full of every plant: bless this rose, planted inn honour of Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth ll, we pray, and grant that it will grow strong; be vibrant of colour; and perfectly scented.

“May it be enjoyed today and always and be a reminder of the Late Queen Elizabeth ll.

After the service, members of the WI said that they felt it appropriate that as the Late Queen was an active WI member, it would be appropriate for them to mark her devotion to the country upon the sad occasion of her passing.

“We had wanted also to mark her platinum jubilee in some way but hadn’t really got around to doing anything so this seemed a perfect opportunity to combine the two!

“We had permission from Rev Tim Starling to plant a rose in the churchyard and then Neil Williams from Ernest Heal agreed to kindly donate the plaque.

“We were aware that The Queen loved roses and so we ‘googled’ what commemorative roses were available and settled upon this one.

“It is a fragrant deep pink rose - colourful like Her Late Majesty - and will certainly shine in its position in the churchyard for Wyesham to admire and enjoy. It was a surprise today to see a bud showing colour after all this cold weather and we have no doubt that it will continue to thrive.”