School Values

Commonwealth Day Service

Commonwealth Day Service
22nd Mar 2024
Written by ASM

Students invited to Westminster Abbey

On Monday 11/3/2024, Headteacher Mr Smith, Extra-Curricular Teacher Mr Iles and a selected few Southborough High School students attended the Commonwealth Service in Westminster Abbey. It was a time to gather, celebrate and give thanks for our great Commonwealth family and at the same time to marvel at its continued vitality and capacity to meet the needs, hopes and anxieties of our time. Our boys were especially aware of this prestigious event and how fortunate they were to be chosen.

Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the oldest charity dedicated to the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Day Service is 'the' most public, global event celebrating the Commonwealth (itself 75 years old this year). Those dignitaries present included the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh; representatives from faith communities (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Jain); church representatives; the High Sheriff of Greater London; His Excellency the President of Malta, and people from 56 countries. 

The Service of Celebration saw contributions from different countries in the Commonwealth, and the King recorded a special message for all present which was broadcast during the service.

As far as our students were concerned, the event was an awe inspiring cornucopia of vibrant display, singing, prayers and readings, held in a venue so grand, beautiful and steeped in historical importance that it quite honestly took their breath away. Members of the audience included some of the most important, highest profile people in the country!

As part of their journey to and from the venue, the students visited Trafalgar Square and Nelson's column, the site of the execution of Charles I, number 10 Downing Street and the inspection at 4pm by the duty officer of the King's Life Guards in the courtyard at Horse Guards parade, Whitehall.

Robert S, one of the Southborough students chosen to attend commented:

“We were really lucky to be seated amongst the front row seats in the Abbey, so the view to everything that went on during the service was first rate. It was a strange feeling being in the same space as Queen Camilla, The Prince of Wales and other high profile people like David Cameron.

The service was fabulous to watch – a real honour! I don’t imagine any of us will forget what we saw that day.  It was a real privilege!”

On behalf of everyone here at Southborough, we’d like to say a special ‘thank you’ for letting some of our students attend such a memorable and special event