Churches light beacons for Diamond Jubilee

Churches are taking part in the lighting of beacons to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tonight, more than 4,000 beacons will be lit across the UK and around the world. The lighting of the beacons will take place between 22:00 and 22:30 BST, after the end of a concert being held at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will light the last beacon in the UK, the National Beacon, before a firework display at Buckingham Palace.

Beacons will be lit at more than 600 churches, from St Cleer church in the tiny hamlet of Tremar near Liskeard, in Cornwall, to St Ninians Episcopal church in Prestwick in the north.

The church beacon initiative was spearheaded by Premier Christian Media and continues a long tradition of lighting beacons in celebration of Royal Jubilees, weddings and coronations.

In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1977 and 2002, they were lit for Queen Elizabeth's Silver and Golden Jubilees.

Other venues for the beacons being lit today include historic landmarks, hilltops and mountains.

The lighting of the beacons is one of the ways churches are getting involved in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. On Sunday, churches held street parties and community lunches as part of the Big Lunch.

Thousands lined the Thames yesterday for a spectacular flotilla of 1,000 boats, including the Queen and other members of the Royal family on a stunning barge.

A tea party is being held today in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, with a modern take on coronation chicken on the menu.

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