Members honoured by HM The Queen

In a special service, held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle for only the third time since 1423,  eight Mothers’ Union members were chosen to be among the 180 recipients (90 ladies, 90 men) to receive the Royal Maundy Money this year.

Angela Byram, Kathleen Wise, Marlene Armitage, Elsie Clark, Christine McMullen, Shirley-Ann Williams, Annelise Barrell.

Former central trustee, Angela Byram, Lay Canon Emeritus of Wakefield Cathedral describes the day:

“Everyone had to be seated in good time so it was wonderful to be able to admire the magnificent architecture of the building and soak up the history and atmosphere.  The Lord High Almoner, the Right Reverend Dr John Inge, addressed the Maundy Recipients in the Nave prior to the service and then there was the procession of the College of St George and Chapel Royal and the Royal Almonry Procession.  The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the North Door and were presented with the traditional nosegays before processing into the Chapel.   The Lord High Almoner led the service during which the Queen presented two leather purses to each of the Recipients. The Red Purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating The Queen’s ninetieth birthday and a 50p coin commemorating the nine hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.  Both coins have been minted in 2016.  Historically, this sum of £5.50 is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 for the redemption of the Sovereign’s gown which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the Recipients.  The White purse contains uniquely minted Maundy Money.  This takes the form of one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the Monarch’s age. This year ninety pennies of silver coins (9 sets of 10p per set). 

After the service we enjoyed a reception in the State Apartments of Windsor Castle where we could chat with Recipients from other dioceses, some of which I already knew.  Drinks and food was served and we were given a tour of the apartments.  It was such a wonderful privilege to receive the Maundy Money from the Queen and a day which both I and my husband Geoff will remember for ever.”

The giving of Royal Maundy Money dates back to at least the 13th Century, and originates in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples before Good Friday.  Mothers’ Union members are often selected by their diocesan bishop to be recipients, in recognition of service to Mothers’ Union or wider service to the Church.