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Four special awards from the Queen

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Apr, 2022 03:10 PM

Four people from the Diocese of Salisbury have been nominated to receive Royal Maundy Gifts from The Queen today [14 April 2022] in honour of their faithful service to others.

Joan Lodge and Hilary Semmons in Salisbury, the Revd Dr David Maurice in Marlborough, and Philip Sankey in Lyme Regis were all nominated for the award. 

The giving of alms (donating your time, money, services, or resources to others) and the washing of feet on the Thursday of Holy Week are of great age. Royal Maundy can be traced back in England to the thirteenth century. The Service derives its name from the latin ‘mandatum’ meaning a commandment and its opening words are Jesus said: “I give you a new commandment: Love one another: As I have loved you, so you are to love one another.” 

The gifts distributed to the recipients are symbolic; a red purse which contains a nominal allowance for clothing and provisions formerly given in kind and a white purse containing Maundy coins of as many pence as the Sovereign has years of age. 

Philip Sankey said of his nomination, "A few weeks ago, I received a letter postmarked Buckingham Palace. It told me that Salisbury Diocese had nominated me to be a recipient of the Royal Maundy this year. It is nice to be appreciated and recognised, but this is not the reason for offering service to the church.  In the context of Maundy Thursday – service is to mirror Christ’s example." 

Joan Lodge said, "I really do feel it is an honour to be a recipient at the Maundy service but I can’t understand why I have been nominated! Throughout my life I have done what I’ve done in order to obey and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and that has given me much enjoyment." 

Hilary Semmons writes, "I consider my life to be unremarkable since retirement, but blessed to have been able to move to the friendly village of Pitton in 1997.  Perhaps this has enabled me to serve the church I love and community in small ways.  I have in the past promoted contemplative prayer through the Julian Meetings, planning quiet days, and enthusiastically fund raising with friends, nearly always involving preparing food!  But I feel humbled by all the amazing achievements of individual volunteers or large organisations we hear of daily." 

All the nominees have dedicated their lives humbly to serve God's people, and we are delighted that their service has been recognised. 

Bishop Karen says: "‘I am delighted that four long-serving members of congregations within the diocese received Maundy money this year. It is a fitting tribute to their commitment to the Christian faith and ministry within the local church. We rejoice with Joan, David, Philip and Hilary and give thanks for their faithfulness and service." 

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