A priest is preparing to board his narrow boat in a show of support for the Queen.

Many clergy have a “bolt-hole” to which they can escape and recharge their batteries.

For Malcolm Jones, parish priest of St Richards in Heathfield, and his wife Frances, this is a narrow boat, Frances Anne, which lives on the Grand Union Canal at Harefield in Middlesex.

The pair have been asked to take part in the flotilla for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

This will see more than 1,000 boats of all sizes gather on the River Thames and escort Her Majesty down the river.

Rev Jones said: “There have already been several rehearsals. The sight of canal boats doing formation dancing must have startled several passers-by.

“We are practicing and when we get it right it's quite a sight.

“It will be televised, and we're hoping that the Boat Race this year [when a swimmer disrupted the race] is not an omen.

“In the middle of all this the flag of the Diocese of Chichester will fly proudly over one unlikely boat for Sussex.”

Rev Jones said the interest in the narrow boats came from when he lived in Birmingham, which was the centre of the canal network.

Are you holding a street party to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee? If so, we want to hear about it. Call Tim Ridgway with details on 01273 544527, email tim.ridgway@theargus.co.uk or write to Tim at our usual address.