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Friday, May 6, 2011
Maundy Thursday and the senior citizen who had never left the island before.
Report on The Royal Maundy at Westminster Abbey, the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s BBC broadcast, and a report on Bishops who became shoe shiners. The Queen has celebrated her 85th birthday by handing out Maundy money in a traditional royal service at Westminster Abbey.
The monarch handed out specially minted coins to deserving recipients in a ceremony dating from the Middle Ages. Among the 170 people – 85 men and 85 women – who received Maundy money this year were 40 from the Isle of Man.
Buckingham Palace said it was the first time the Queen’s birthday had fallen on Maundy Thursday. Each year the Queen chooses a different church to distribute the coins, known as Maundy money.
This year the venue was the abbey, which will also host the wedding of the Queen’s grandson, Prince William, to Kate Middleton, on 29 April. When the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived at the abbey’s Great West Door, a trumpet fanfare was sounded. The Queen and the duke were presented with the traditional nosegays of sweet herbs as they walked inside.
The royal couple and a series of colourful processions featuring musicians, senior clergy and delegations from the two dioceses involved then made their way through the nave into the heart of the church. The groups were joined by members of the Royal Almonry – an office within the Royal Household that enables the monarch to distribute alms. The service began with the 19th Century hymn “Praise To The Holiest In The Height” and was followed by a series of prayers.
Sodor and Man
The Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Right Reverend Robert Paterson – whose district is one of the ancient Celtic dioceses of the British Isles – gave the first lesson, reading the passage from the book of John which describes Jesus washing the feet of his followers.
Afterwards the Queen handed out red and white purses – from trays held by a Yeoman of the Guard – in the centuries-old tradition.
The red purse contained a £5 coin commemorating the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday in June, and a 50p coin marking the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The white purse held uniquely minted Maundy money made up of silver one, two, three and four penny pieces, the sum of which added up to the Queen’s age.
One of this year’s recipients was Dorothy Boyde, 75, who had never left the Isle of Man before.
She told the BBC: “I wouldn’t go for anything else. It’s a big adventure
A Manx pensioner who has never left the Isle of Man will travel to London later in the year to receive Maundy money from Queen Elizabeth II.
75-year-old Dorothy Boyde from Kirk Michael was nominated after years of looking after her local church.
"I was awe struck really until I'd read the letter through. It has taken a while to sink in," she said.
Forty island residents will receive purses from the Queen on Maundy Thursday at Westminster Abbey in April.
It is the first time a large group of Island residents have been invited to the ceremony in 300 years.
Dorothy grew up on a farm in the north of the island and has been a warden at Kirk Michael church for the last 19 years.
She is renowned for her cake baking skills, and has provided catering for almost every church occasion during the last decade.
The Queen will celebrate her 85th birthday by giving the Maundy alms to 85 people
When asked why she thought she had been nominated she replied: "I have no idea why this has happened.
"I've been involved with the church for thirty years. I open and close the church everyday, do the flowers, the cleaning, the cooking and polish the brass.
"I suppose its just because I've been here for a long time," she added.
Dorothy will be among 85 recipients who will receive the Queen's Maundy alms on 21 April, Her Majesty's 85th birthday.
But for her it will be the first time she has ever left the island.
"When I read the letter I thought I can't do that. I'm a back room kind of person."
"My little world is here in Kirk Michael. I've never been off the island, by choice. I've just never wanted to go," she explained.
Dorothy is taking her closest friend with her to London.
Manx residents will be attending along with people from the Anglican Diocese of Europe, based in Gibraltar
"This is really something special that has got me to go. I wouldn't go for anything else. It's a big adventure!"
Reverend Canon Malcolm Convery, at Kirk Michael Church, says it is a chance to recognise the "unsung heroes" of the Manx community.
"Dorothy's been nominated, not just because of her service as a church warden, but also for helping in the community. She deserves recognition for that," he said. From 1699 the Maundy money was distributed by a royal representative but it became customary in the 1930s for the reigning monarch to distribute the coins.
Dorothy says she will put the coins in the China cabinet when she gets back.
May I just say that "Auntie" Brenda Watterson from St. Mary's in Port St. Mary was also in attendance. A worthy recipient of the coins as she is a stalwart of the Church and has given much time to the little ones as well as the wider church in the village over many, many years.
With thanks to the BBC, the Church of Ireland and Rushen Parish News.