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Local Christians recognised for invaluable community service by Her Majesty the Queen

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The giving of Royal Maundy Money by HM The Queen is a centuries-old tradition. The name “Maundy” and the ceremony itself derive from an instruction, or mandatum, of Jesus at the Last Supper that his followers should love one another. This symbolic act of giving a gift of money in small purses is a ceremonial living out of that Christian care.

There are as many recipients as there are years in the sovereign’s age. At the ceremony, the monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses. A red purse contains ordinary coins, while a white one contains silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign’s age.

The Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich, said: “I am delighted that the contributions that Betty, Lyn, Eric and Alan have made to the life of the Church in Norfolk and Waveney have been recognised by HM The Queen at this year’s distribution of the Royal Maundy. This is a day when we thank God for the way in which each recipient has reflected the model of Jesus in serving others, set within the commitment of the whole Church to love our neighbours.”


The recipients:

Betty Hastings

Betty is a member of St Martin’s Suffield Park. She is deeply rooted in her community to which she contributes greatly. She has written a valuable history of the church originally built as a mission hall. Speaking about her nomination Betty said: “I am overwhelmed and excited at being given such an unexpected and once in a lifetime honour” 


Lyn Fairchild

During the pandemic, Lyn made over 1500 facemasks worn by hundreds of people including the Bishop of Norwich. One facemask was also gifted to the Pope. This has raised nearly £6000 for her parish church in Cawston thanks to donations made for the masks. Lyn said: “When I opened the letter telling me I had been nominated to attend the Royal Maundy Service at Windsor Castle to receive the Maundy gift of coins from The Queen, I was astonished but highly delighted to be one of Norfolk’s nominees.”


Eric Swann

Eric is a World War II veteran and a stalwart of St Nicholas Church, Dereham. He reads the lesson, has counted and banked collections and assisted in the church office for many years. When asked how he felt about his nomination Eric said: “Wonderful! and it was very unexpected to receive the honour of this award”


Alan Riches

Alan has been a faithful steward of Bradwell Methodist Church for over 40 years and is circuit property secretary. By his care, gentleness and warmth of welcome he has enabled the church to grow. Alan said: “I was very surprised to receive the invitation to attend the Maundy Thursday service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Chapel and to be a recipient of the Maundy Money. I feel very honoured to have been nominated.”