MONDAY, MARCH 19: Yesterday was a day of celebration for St Peter’s Church — now ‘St Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell’.
The sun shone in a cloudless sky, the church was packed, tourists thronged the street, school children and sea cadets formed a guard of honour on the church steps and the Bermuda Regiment Fanfare Trumpeters greeted the arrival of the Governor by carriage.
The service of Intituling contained all the elements of a regal drama followed by a reception of celebration— including a visit from the royal couple, King William lll and Queen Mary.
The enthralled congregation watched as the service unfolded, beginning with an explanation by incumbent Reverend David Raths as to the background of the “service to Celebrate the Intituling of St Peter’s as ‘Their Majesties Chappell’ by Sign Manual of Her Majesty the Queen.”
The historic title was first used during the Reign of King William and Queen Mary in the Royal Warrant for the set of Communion Silver given by their Majesties to the Church in 1697.
Dr Thomas Sinsteden of Connecticut, who located the Warrant and brought a copy to the church in 2007 was on hand to read the Warrant during the service.
The document from the Queen approving the new title was brought to Bermuda by David Baldwin, RVM, the Serjeant of The Vestry of the Chapel Royal. He presented the document to His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney, Governor of Bermuda, who read it to the assembled congregation.
The set of ancient communion silver was carried in procession through the Church by Chalice Administrators of the Parish.
Many local clergy took part in the service and the new flags and banner were blessed by the Lord Bishop of Bermuda, the Right Reverend Patrick G.H. White.
The Epistle was read by Premier Paula Cox.
Following the Service, the new Royal Coat of Arms was unveiled by the Governor and the Serjeant of the Vestry.
The Mayor of St George’s, His Worship Kenneth Bascome, JP invited all guests to a reception at the Town Hall.