In their own words: Maundy recipients reflect on their big day

Queen Elizabeth II hands out Maundy money at Blackburn Cathedral
Queen Elizabeth II hands out Maundy money at Blackburn Cathedral
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Recipients of Maundy Thursday payments have spoken of their delight at being honoured by The Queen.

The historic ceremony took place at Blackburn Cathedral lst week. Sheena Hornby, of Bilsborrow, well known locally for parish work and care of the Bilsborrow War memorial, said: “It was a fantastic and moving experience for all of us who were present. No words can express how wonderful it is when the monarch comes to you and makes this presentation to you personally.”

One of the oldest Maundy recipients was Johnny Orr of St Michael’s on Wyre, still sings in the church choir and is a bell ringer, cycling to services at the age of 96.

He said: “This day must rank as one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Never did I expect to meet the Queen in person and be given such an honour by her in the cathedral church of our Diocese.”

Eileen Roberts, of Goosnargh, said: “On the day I received the invitation to be a recipient of the Royal Maundy I shook with nerves of excitement and awe. In her tenderness, care and whole approach to me on Maundy Thursday, the Queen put me fully at ease. It was like an out of this world experience happening in time.”

Diana Swarbrick, of Goosnargh, said “A wonderful, colourful, unique occasion. It was an honour to receive a personal gift from the Queen. The focus of the ceremony was so powerful and moving.... the Christian example of service being enacted by the Sovereign to her people, and the readings reminding us all to practise such service in our daily lives.”

Rosemary Cartwright, a former Longridge resident whose Maundy Thursday invitation particularly referred to her work as churchwarden at Lund St John the Evangelist during its interregnum, said she was amazed her name had been submitted.

“It was a tremendous honour to be one of the recipients of Maundy gifts from the Queen at the Royal Maundy service at Blackburn Cathedral.”

Her church parish magazine’s congratulations to her said it was ‘a well-deserved recognition for her long years of service to both church and community.’