Queen's Royal Maundy visit to Sheffield

3rd April 2015

The Queen hands Maundy Money to Maureen BenfoldOn Maundy Thursday in Sheffield, thousands of people lined the streets of the city centre as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived to present Maundy Money to 89 men and 89 women at the Cathedral.

The changeable British weather was surprisingly calm as the sun shone on Maundy recipients making their way from the Cutler’s Hall across the road to the Cathedral.  Some of the recipients had already enjoyed a special service ride on the Supertram from Meadowhall, where many had parked to beat the expected heavy traffic.

Once inside the Cathedral building, the congregation, gathered guests, family and friends waited patiently for the Royal Party to arrive.  The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled into Sheffield on the train and were driven to the Cathedral for 11am where they were met by the Dean and Chapter and the Bishop of Sheffield.

This was the Queen’s service, to honour those Christian people who have given so much to their local communities.  For the duration of the service, the Cathedral actually became the Chapel Royal and the Cathedral Choir had the experience of singing with Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal Choir. The choirs were faultless as they sung to accompany the Queen as she handed out two leather pouches of Maundy money to each recipient.  It created a moving and unforgettable service for all those there.

After the service the recipients and their companions were treated to a pie lunch in the Cutler’s Hall.  The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh went for a reception at the Town Hall with the Dean of Sheffield, Bishop of Sheffield, Cathedral Chapter and other civic dignitaries.   The Royal party finally departed just after 2pm still smiling and waving to the crowds.

Many people took special memories away from the day.  The Dean of Sheffield, the Very Revd Peter Bradley said:

“Sheffield Cathedral is honoured to have been chosen to host the Royal Maundy.  This service is a special opportunity to recognise individuals who have worked to make a positive contribution to their community.  Since the letters selecting the recipients went out it has been amazing to see how humble, gracious and hardworking these people really are.  South Yorkshire has so many people working selflessly for others. There really could be no better way of recognising this as well as marking the centenary of becoming a cathedral.”

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft said:

“Since the news was announced publically in January, there has been a growing sense of anticipation and joy that the Royal Maundy should be taking place in Sheffield this year.  It is a profound Christian reflection of the command to love one another and it is taking place right at the heart of the city.  The 178 recipients being honoured today have been chosen for their dedicated and humble service to their church and local community. It is fitting that the Queen, the city and wider region celebrate this special event together.”

The 89 men and 89 women who received the Maundy gift were selected through local nomination in the South Yorkshire church network.  These were then vetted by the Lieutenancy Office in South Yorkshire before the list was the passed to the Queen, it is at this stage that the letters inviting the potential recipients were sent.

See video below for reactions from some of the recipients following the service.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.  It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.  The Queen has distributed Maundy coins on all but four occasions since coming to the throne in 1952.

Since the fifteenth century, the number of Maundy coins handed out, and the number of people receiving the coins, has been related to the Sovereign’s age: for example, when The Queen was 60 years old, 60 women and 60 men would have received 60 pence-worth of Maundy coins.

This year the Red Purse contains a £5 coin, observing the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., and a 50p coin honouring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, both coins minted in 2015. Traditionally, this amount of £5.50 in the Red Purse is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 for the redemption of the Sovereign’s gown.

The White Purse contains distinctively minted Maundy Money containing one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the Monarch’s age. This year 89 pennies of silver coins were distributed

The word 'Maundy' comes from the command or 'mandatum' by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another.

Jesus said:

I give you a new commandment: Love one another: as I have loved you, so you are to love one another.

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