Maundy Money surprise

Congratulations to two members of the Rochester Diocesan community who were recently invited by Her Majesty the Queen to receive the Royal Maundy Money at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle this year.

Sylvia McClean and Jim Lawrenson were among the 93 men and women to receive the honour this year; the number of recipients relates to the years of the Sovereign’s life.

The distribution of alms by Kings and Queens of England on Maundy Thursday is an ancient ceremony that dates from at least the thirteenth century; recipients today are chosen for their service to the community and are nominated from across the dioceses of England, together with nominations from Scotland.

Sylvia, is a dedicated member of Christ Church, Erith, serving on the Deanery Synod, singing in the choir and a regular on the church's reader list and coffee rota.

She is also a long-standing member of the Bexley African Caribbean Association and was a crucial member of the team who put on the successful 70th anniversary commemorations of Windrush in Bexley last year.

The nomination still came as a surprise to her:

“I couldn't understand why the Royal Office was writing to me! So it was a real surprise.

“It was really awe-inspiring to meet the Queen and also to be among all those other retired men and woman from across the country, who have been successful during their lives in serving their communities.”

Jim Lawrenson, a committed volunteer at Rochester Cathedral was also nominated.

During the special service held at Windsor Castle, all the recipients received two purses – a red and a white one.

In the white purse, 93 uniquely minted silver Maundy coins are given to represent The Queen’s age. 

In the red purse, a £5 coin celebrating four generations of Royalty and a 50p coin celebrating the representation of the People Act 1918 to reform the electoral system, were distributed.

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