King Charles thanks church members for their service with Maundy money
Published on 6 April 2023 3 minutes read
King Charles will today personally thank Church of Scotland members for their work to make a positive difference in the lives of people in their communities.
The 15 men and women will be presented with symbolic silver coins as part of the annual Royal Maundy service at York Minster Cathedral.
Taking place in Holy Week, the historic service dates back to 1662 and symbolises humility, care, kindness and appreciation of others.
The Church members, who belong to congregations across Scotland, were nominated by Very Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal, to receive the King's Maundy gift, which will be a moment of celebration and thanksgiving.
He said that the honour, the first to be bestowed by King Charles, reminds us of the strength of the local church and the dedication of the "whole people of God to its work".
Strength of local church
Some 74 men and 74 women, signifying the age of the Monarch, who belong to different denominations across the UK will receive Maundy money, inspired by Jesus Christ and the commandment he gave after washing the disciples' feet at the Last Supper.
They will be gifted two purses each - one red and one white.
The white purse will bear the silver Maundy coins and the red one will contain two commemorative coins that symbolise the sovereign's historic gift of food and clothing.
This year, the coins will celebrate the King's forthcoming 75th birthday as well as the 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush, the ship that brought hundreds of immigrants from the Caribbean to the UK.
Professor Fergusson said: "This year's Maundy service will be the first in the reign of King Charles III.
"Although it is an Anglican event, around twenty people from across churches in Scotland will be honoured.
"These recipients have served their churches and communities in modest but important ways over many years.
"They remind us of the strength of the local church and the dedication of the whole people of God to its work.
"We trust that this will be a happy and memorable occasion for our Maundy recipients at York Minster."
One of the recipients is Dorothy Thomson who served for many years as Session Clerk at Orwell and Portmoak Parish Church in Kinross-shire.
She is described as someone who regularly went the extra mile to support people and over the years she organised many community events and cared for many elderly people.
Dorothy said: "It was a pleasant surprise to receive a letter from Buckingham Palace.
"I am a royalist and my mother was a royalist before me and I feel quite humbled and proud to be asked to receive the Maundy."
Another recipient is Brenda Russell who has shared in the leadership of the Guild at Corstorphine Old Church in Edinburgh for many years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the group morphed into the Tuesday Club, which organised fortnightly quiz afternoons, celebrations, speakers and concerts.
A longstanding and active member of her congregation, Brenda has been involved in the flower rota and welcoming visitors at the church door.
Brenda said: "When I received the letter from Buckingham Palace, I was absolutely floored and feel very honoured that I have been nominated.
"I have met Princess Anne in the past and I am very much looking forward to meeting her brother, King Charles."
Another recipient is Campbell McGregor, who served as Session Clerk at Renfrew North Church for nearly 40 years until 2015.
He was the Captain of 3rd Renfrew Boys' Brigade 1962–72, 1984–94 and was President of the Paisley Battalion 2002–2012.
As the chair of Renfrew Christian Aid since 1974, he has organised street-by-street collections, coffee mornings and songs of praise events, raising tens of thousands of pounds.
Campbell said: "I was very pleasantly surprised to be told I had been nominated to receive Maundy money, it was the last thing I expected.
"It is an honour and I am looking forward to meeting King Charles."