Three Wearsiders will be honoured for their community service by the Queen today.
Anne Goodman, Bill Ford and Dick Thorndyke are among four volunteers from the Diocese of Durham invited to the Royal Maundy Service to receive Maundy Money from Her Majesty at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Mrs Goodman, now in her 80s, has run the toddlers' group at St Michael & All Angels in Houghton for 50 years, served on the Deanery Synod for 20 years, served for nearly 20 years as a director of DFW Adoption and run the Coalfields Area Refugee and Asylum Seekers support group for 15 years. She has been on the Kepier Hall management team for more than 40 years.
Bill Ford is an active member of the congregation at St Gabriel’s in Sunderland. A former police officer now in his 90s, he is described the diocese as 'a great Christian role model to many generations.'
Retired headmaster Dick Thorndyke has contributed a great deal to the community through his work with the Diocesan Board of Education, as a governor of several schools, and as the Lay Chair of Wearmouth Deanery.
The fourth person invited from the diocese to today's service is Margot Inglis, a member of Stockton Town Pastor Patrol.
The Maundy Thursday service is an annual ceremony, which dates back to the 1200s, when it was customary at Easter time for the reigning monarch to give out Maundy Money to those in need.
In modern times the presentation takes place in recognition of the service of elderly people to their community and their church at a different venue each year.
Beneficiaries are usually chosen from the local area and are made up of those who have made outstanding contributions. As in 2016 the Maundy service will be held in St George’s Chapel Windsor 92 recipients (92 men & 92 women) were are drawn from across the whole of the realm; this is because since the 15th century the number of recipients has been related to the years of the Sovereign’s life.
Commenting on the announcement The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “I am delighted that Her Majesty The Queen in her 92nd Birthday year has chosen to recognise these outstanding individuals.
"The amazing work that Anne, Margot, Bill and Dick do and the way that they do it in our communities in blessing them for the transformation of us all is simply outstanding.
"Each recipient has made a significant and lasting difference to their communities through their voluntary service and I am thrilled that the Queen’s award of Maundy Money recognises this vital contribution."