Today, April 1 and Maundy Thursday, Jeremy York, will receive the Maundy Money from Her Majesty The Queen.
Traditionally, from across the country, the same number of men and women as the Monarch’s age – 95 this year – are invited to attend a ceremony on Maundy Thursday, which falls on 1 April this year. In the last few years before 2020, this mostly took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Covid-19 restrictions have again prevented the Maundy Money honourees from receiving their gift in person from Her Majesty The Queen. They will instead receive special letters from HM The Queen, enclosing the special silver coins.
The Maundy Money consists of silver pennies – amounting to 95p this year, again in line with the Monarch’s age – and £5.50, which in the past was an allowance for clothing and provisions.
The service dates to 600 AD and these special coins have been kept much the same form since 1670. This year’s coins still bear the portrait of The Queen that was designed for her coronation in 1953.
Jeremy York is described as one of the ‘unseen faithful’ – utterly reliable and conscientious. He has been a churchwarden of St George’s Preshute, a school governor at Preshute Primary School and, until recently, Chair of the Marlborough Jubilee Centre. He is also Tower Constable of St Peter’s Church, giving guided tours to visitors.
As Jeremy walks into Marlborough, he picks up rubbish as he goes. He is widely recognised as a ‘good and honourable’ man offering services to a wide range of people and a good neighbour and friend to all.
Jeremy said, “I was very puzzled as to who nominated me. I’m very touched- I see myself as a very run-of-the-mill person, just getting on with it, so it’s very kind of them, it’s a great honour.
I was brought up in the Church of England – boarding school, strict adherence and so on. I’ve always been Church of England, although there was a time when I was attracted to the Catholic church, and I’ve had doubts, but my faith is very important to me. Recently, I’ve read ‘Living in Love and Faith’, which is heavy going, but I felt I learned a lot from the encounters in it. There are some very diverse individuals who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, like the rest of us.
I’ve also been in the Army, and my faith was important there too – periods of danger can focus your attention on faith!
I’m sorry not to go up to London, but it’s one of those things.
It’s something nice for the grandchildren. I’ve also never seen the Maundy Money, so I’m curious to find out what it looks like!”