Cathy Barnes in the grounds of Windsor Castle
Two people from our Diocese have been presented with Maundy money in recognition of the significant contribution they have made to their communities.
Cathy Barnes, from All Saints Cleadon, and Ken Lorrison, a member of the Salvation Army in South Shields, were invited to attend the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Maundy Thursday.
Prince Charles, who represented Queen Elizabeth at the service for the first time, presented Cathy and Ken – as part of a cohort of 96 men and 96 women, reflective of the number of years Her Majesty The Queen has lived – with traditional purses containing Maundy money.
This was the first time in three years that the Royal Maundy service went ahead in person as Covid restrictions had prevented services taking place in 2020 and 2021.
Cathy, 72, was nominated in recognition of her ‘valued contribution to the life of the Diocese of Durham’, including her role as a chapter member of Durham Cathedral from 2015 to 2021 which she describes as an ‘enormous privilege’.
She has also been involved in her local church All Saints Cleadon for 40 years, serving at various times as warden, PCC member and Deanery Synod member.
Cathy, who is currently a member of the Shared Ministry Development Team, PCC secretary, and Lay Chair of Jarrow Deanery, attended the Royal Maundy service with husband Tony as her companion.
She said: “We had a fantastic day. We were made to feel so special, the service was wonderful, and Windsor Castle was amazing.
“I was hugely honoured to have been chosen as a Maundy recipient – it came as a complete surprise, when an envelope postmarked 'Buckingham Palace' landed on the doormat! My first thought was 'what have I done to deserve this?', and my second was 'oh no, I'll have to wear a hat!'. It was truly humbling, to be one of just under 200 men and women from across the UK to have been chosen.”
Ken (right), 80, was nominated for his unwavering commitment to The Salvation Army and the support he has offered to the most vulnerable in his community.
He said: “I cannot believe the nomination that I have received in the post. It came like a shot in the dark and the short time since I am still thinking who has made this come true.
“This is all done for the good of The Lord, the way he portrays his love for each of us.”
For the last 39 years, Ken has helped to raise funds to enable the church’s feeding programmes and practical relief for vulnerable individuals and families.
He also helps to organise events for The Salvation Army including Christmas carols performed by the band in South Shields town centre, the Christmas Carol Service in Westoe Village and the model rail and model bus exhibitions.
And for several years, Ken has sold The Salvation Army’s newspaper in South Shields where he has built up a trusted rapport with those who pass him on the town’s streets.
Ken, whose wife Maureen accompanied him to the Royal Maundy service, added: “South Shields Salvation Army has a good relationship with the local people. I am always pleased with the reception I get when it is my turn to sell the ‘War Cry’ in the town centre.”
In a service dating back to 600AD, Cathy, Ken and the other Maundy money recipients were presented with two small leather purses, one red and one white.
The first contained a small amount of ordinary coinage which symbolises the sovereign's gift for food and clothing. The second purse contained Maundy coins up to the value of the sovereign's age.
Traditionally it is the Queen who distributes Maundy money to pensioners in a service which commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper.
Buckingham Palace announced ahead of this year’s service that The Queen – who is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year – would not be in attendance for only the fifth time since she became Sovereign in 1952.