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Maundy Money recipient – Anne Parr

Two individuals from the Diocese of Sheffield are to be given Maundy Money in recognition of their longstanding service.

The Revd Anne Parr, a retired teacher with a PTO (Permission To Officiate) for the Parish of St John the Baptist Church Penistone, has been selected along with Dr Peter Hutchinson, a Focal Minister at Holy Trinity Ulley.

The Maundy Service is taking place in Worcester Cathedral today (Thursday 28th March) at 11am, with 75 men and 75 women chosen from across the UK. The tradition of the monarch distributing silver coins dates back to the 13th Century, when the Royal Family took part in ceremonies washing the feet of poor people and giving money and gifts. This year, Her Majesty The Queen (formerly HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) will distribute the coins.

Read more below on Revd Anne, in her own words:

Tell me a bit about yourself

I was licensed as a Reader in 1992, but my ministry began as soon as I began my training in 1990. We have two parish churches and three daughter churches in our Team Ministry area. I took services of the Word in all five churches, as well as extended Communion to the elderly in Green Park House and to the housebound. Pastoral visiting -including to parishioners in hospital – has always been an important part of my ministry and still is.

I was called to Ordained Ministry when in my late teens but at that time it was unknown. I kept it to myself. I was in the wrong place and the wrong gender. Decades later I felt the call again, but once more it wasn’t the right time. In 2003 a new vicar was appointed here. He quickly realised what I needed to do and when he became Rector in 2005 everything changed. I applied to train for Ordination. Before I went for Diocesan interviews, one Sunday morning Fr David said that he was going to pray for me and invited the congregation to join him. He expected only a handful would respond but gradually the whole congregation surrounded us! This, in a church where we had been told that Penistone would never accept a woman priest! There were tears of joy. A few weeks later after I had been accepted to train, after the Eucharist one Sunday he uncorked a bottle of Champagne!  Let the Spirit free at last!  

I’ll always remember being on a prayer weekend at Whirlow Grange and discussing my situation (i.e. the long wait), with one of the leaders when he quoted a verse from the prophet Joel: “The Lord will make good the years that the locusts have eaten”. I never forgot that. and it sustained me always.

When were you ordained and what was the process like?

I was Ordained Deacon in 2007 in Wakefield Cathedral but Ordained Priest here in St John’s Church Penistone in 2008. The Placards outside the newsagent read “First Female priest for Penistone!”  I was also the first female to be Ordained in Penistone church!  

Since 2008 I have had a full ministry of Word and Sacrament. Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals – and all the preparation and pastoral care that’s needed for each one – has been my responsibility over many years. I have been pleased to share it with other members of staff. I have prepared Confirmation candidates and spoken, on invitation, to the MU and several other groups. I was invited to be Chaplain of the local Women’s Branch of the RBL until it was disbanded nationally. Part of my ministry was to take the assembly at the CofE Infant School once a fortnight.  I continued to work in all our churches. Another aspect of my ministry has been to occasionally plan and lead a pilgrimage. We have travelled to Iona and to Lindisfarne as well as other places.

In addition to all of this there were PCC meetings to attend, staff meetings where I was and am part of the oversight ministry and decision-making processes. Thankfully I have always had the support of my Incumbent, the congregations, the community and my family. It is the best voluntary job I could have had. 

Congratulations on the Maundy Money nomination! How did you hear about it?

I first heard about this award when I received a letter from Buckingham Palace on 25th January this year!

What happens next? How do you receive the gift?

I have been invited, along with 75 men and 74 (plus me) women chosen from the UK, to attend the Maundy Service in Worcester Cathedral at 11am on 28th March. I may take one companion with me.  We need to be at the Cathedral by 8.45am. My companion – my son – will sit with me during the service. The gift will be given by the King or His representative.

What does this mean to you and others?

This gift is wholly unexpected. It will be a great honour to accept it. My family and those who know me, particularly those who have known me in ministry for a long time, say that I deserve it and they are pleased for me. I am thrilled but humbled because all that I have ever done is answer God’s call to serve. I thank Fr David and Bishop Pete for nominating me.

What’s your message for Easter?

My Easter message is Alleluia, Christ is Risen!  Alleluia! Give thanks to the Risen Lord! Shine His Light in the world to the Glory of the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.