Cumbrian pensioners receive Maundy Money from the Queen

Four Cumbrian pensioners are being presented with Maundy Money by the Queen at a service today (Thursday 24 March).

        Mrs Una Barrett  Mr James Craig  Mr Matthew Dobson  Mrs Kath Wise

The group has travelled down to Windsor Castle where 90 men and 90 women – the number of recipients is the same as the sovereign’s age – will receive gifts of the specially-minted Maundy money in St George’s Chapel.

Each recipient has been recommended by the senior staff of the Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria - in recognition of their service both to the Church and their community.

Retired dairy farmer James Craig, 81, from Newbiggin near Croglin is one of those to meet the Queen. It comes in recognition of his work as churchwarden at St Mary’s Cumrew over nearly 40 years.

Mr Craig said: “I’ve enjoyed my work very much for the church; from ringing the bell, talking the collection, mowing the grass in the church yard and even taking the occasional service from time to time. Receiving the Maundy Money is something I never thought would happen to me.”

Una Barrett, from north Carlisle, remains an active member of the Mothers’ Union and Women’s Institute and is a sidesperson at Carlisle Cathedral. The retired teacher who worked at St Aidan’s School has also been heavily involved in guiding and was a District Commissioner. She, her husband, John, son Nicholas and one of the couple’s daughters helped out when the Queen gave Maundy Money at Carlisle Cathedral in 1978.

Mrs Barrett said: “It was earth shaking to receive the letter confirming I had been nominated. I could not believe I had been chosen. I let all my children know immediately and everyone has been thrilled.”

Another former dairy farmer, 77-year-old Matthew Dobson, is also to receive the money. He is marking 50 years as a churchwarden at Crosthwaite church near Kendal and sits on committees for the Memorial Hall, the recreation field and the charitable group, the Landowners of Crosthwaite and Lyth. He is also a foundation governor for the village’s church school.

He said: “It’s an honour to be invited to receive the Maundy Money and it’s something to be proud of.”

The fourth recipient is Kath Wise from Walney Island. Mrs Wise, aged 86, was a churchwarden for 20 years at St Mary’s Walney and has been a member of the Mothers’ Union for 48 years. She was named Cumbrian Woman of the Year in 1999 for her services to the community and has also helped run a crèche at Haverigg Prison where children are cared for while visits take place. She still helps runs a church dinner service for elderly people.

“I don’t feel I have done anything much too different to other people,” Mrs Wise said, “so I’m delighted to have been chosen. I’ve always thought it important that we do something for the community and enjoy getting on with things.”

The tradition of the sovereign giving money dates from the thirteenth century. Each recipient is given two leather purses – one containing coinage worth £5.50 in lieu of food and clothing and the second contains silver Maundy coins, the same number of pence as the sovereign’s age.

Maundy Thursday commemorates the day of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, with the word ‘Maundy’ coming from Christ’s command or ‘mandatum’ to love one another.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome said: “All four people have shown tremendous dedication to their community and to their churches. I’m thrilled that this will be recognised with each of them receiving Maundy Money. We hope they all have a wonderful day.”

Notes for editors
For more information on Maundy Money click here

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For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.