Guernsey – getting into the spirit of Liberation Day with a tea dance
Updated: May 23
Anna Chaplain in Guernsey, Helen Sheppard, tells of a red-letter day this month when the red, white and blue bunting was flying and so were some special birds:
'Liberation Day, 9 May, is a very special day in our calendar as we give thanks for our freedom from occupying German forces during World War Two. Islanders lived under oppression, hunger and fear, often separated from their families with many parents making the heart-breaking decision to evacuate their dear children into the welcoming arms of the UK for 5 years in order to keep them safe. There are still some with memories of this time, while others have grown up in the shadow of its aftermath.
'We celebrated the gift of this freedom with a full afternoon tea dance using vintage china and proper teapots and milk jugs. We enjoyed finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and our traditional handmade Guernsey Gauche. More than 200 origami bluebirds were made into a display and were suspended over the dance floor which were inspired by the song, 'There'll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover.' A further 80 free-standing bluebirds were made for each place setting.
'The afternoon had opened with the prayer:
Heavenly Father, we know that freedom is something that is important to you and close to your heart, we know this because you blessed us with freedom of choice from the moment you created us. Out of abundant love for us you sent your beloved son Jesus so that we might be free. Thank you so much for the gift of freedom that we celebrate today, thank you for all those that fought and continue to fight for freedom and liberty and we remember particularly those in Ukraine. May freedom be not too far away for them. Father we pray for all who are oppressed, persecuted and held captive, both physically and emotionally, may you release them from this grasp. Thank you that to you we are known, we are loved and we are yours and that you are with us always. Amen
'We did some home delivery afternoon teas-in-a-bag for those unable to be there. There was also ample space for a sing-along where we waved our flags and belted out some of the old favourites, and the afternoon ended with our Guernsey Anthem 'Sarnia Cherie' which was accompanied by the church organ.'