Will be in my hometown, Manchester, today for The Royal Maundy Service, which dates back at least eight centuries. It will be held at Manchester Cathedral for the very first time.
The following information comes from the Diocese of Manchester website, you can read about some of the recipients of the Maundy Money here.
During the Service, 81 men and 81 women from Greater Manchester (representing the Queen's age) will receive gifts of specially-minted Maundy money from the Queen. The recipients are all retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of service both to the Church and their community. The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Revd Nigel McCulloch, said: "I am delighted that Her Majesty the Queen has chosen to hold the Maundy Ceremonies in Manchester. Her visit will be a highlight for the city, Greater Manchester and the diocese.” The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Revd Rogers Govender, said: "It is a great privilege for the cathedral and the city to be chosen to host the Royal Maundy in 2007. I am sure we will provide a very special place for this unique ceremony.” The gifts Each senior citizen will receive a set of silver coins made by the Royal Mint consisting of one, two, three and four-penny pieces with a total face value equal in pence to the Queen's age. The coins are distributed in ceremonial red and white purses made especially for the occasion. Each recipient is presented with one of each. The white purse contains one coin for each year of the monarch's reign. The red purse contains an allowance of £5.50 for clothing and food in place of gifts that used to be given in kind. Being rare and crafted in silver, their real worth is far higher - the symbolic gifts are a great honour and highly prized by Maundy recipients so it is difficult to put an accurate price on them. Historic roots Maundy Thursday is the Thursday in Holy Week, the annual period when Christians remember the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. On Maundy Thursday Jesus washed the feet of the disciples after he had celebrated the Passover meal. The Distribution of Alms and the washing of the feet on the Thursday of Holy Week have a long history. The Maundy can be traced back in England to the 12th century, and there are continuous records of the Monarch distributing gifts on Maundy Thursday from the reign of King Edward I.
Whilst I'm not particularly a Royalist I do love the traditions of our country and of course the Queen and all the pomp and ceremony that goes with her is fantastic for our tourist industry. Just thought my friends from other countries might be interested in this.
Thursday 5th April