Thousands of people are expected to line the streets this week when Her Majesty The Queen attends the Royal Maundy Thursday service at Leicester Cathedral.
But while most people will be trying to get a glimpse of The Queen as she arrives, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Anglican Chaplain, The Rev Hilary Surridge
, will be at the service.
Her name was drawn from a list of members of the congregation at the cathedral to attend the Royal occasion. It is the first time the Queen has attended a Maundy service in Leicester.
Her Majesty will observe the ancient tradition of handing out Maundy Money to a group of 91 men and 91 women from the community of pensioners – the number representing her own age.
The Rev Surridge said: “I think it’s really exciting not just for the cathedral but for Leicestershire as a whole. It will be an occasion that the whole city and county will celebrate.
“The first inkling I had that I would be there was when I received a letter through the post. I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an occasion. I am very excited. The Royal Maundy service is such a moving one, because it recognises people for their community work.”
“The people who are receiving the money represent the hundreds of people who selflessly volunteer across the county each week. They do it from a natural generosity and I think to be recognised in this way gives people such a boost.”
The Maundy Thursday service is a tradition dating back hundreds of years and marks the Last Supper, which Christians believe was the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death on the cross and resurrection.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh are due to arrive at the cathedral for the 11am service, where she will be welcomed by the Dean, the Very Rev David Monteith, and the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Martyn Snow.
Public viewing will be allowed along the entire convoy route through the city centre, although spectators can also watch on two giant outdoor screens at the Clock Tower and Jubilee Square.
The screens will also show the Royal Maundy Service inside the cathedral, as the service itself is open only to invited guests. The Royal visit will be the first by the Queen since her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, which began at DMU.
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The Very Rev David Monteith said: “We are delighted to welcome Her Majesty to our community. Care for others is at the heart of this traditional Maundy Service which is full of pageantry. We hope many will be inspired to serve our neighbours, following the Queen’s personal example offered over so many years.”
The service will see The Queen hand each of the pensioners two purses – a red one and a white one. The red one contains a £5 coin, commemorating the centenary of the House of Windsor, and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton. The white purses contain specially-minted silver coins, totalling 91 pennies for each recipient.
The first monarch recorded to have attended a Maundy service and distributed alms was King John in 1210.DMU’s Chaplaincy
offers a range of practical and spiritual support for people of faith or those with no faith. Based in the Art Factory on campus, it offers a quiet space for reflection and activities and all staff and students are welcome.
Posted on Wednesday 12th April 2017