Congratulations to Canon Margaret Sedgwick who, along with Shelia Wicks and Alistair Macfarlane, come from the Coventry Diocese and have received Maundy Gifts from the Queen.
Each year, at the Royal Maundy Service, the Queen recognises and gives thanks for the work done by countless people for the wellbeing of their neighbours; work that has often been taken for granted or hidden. The service this year was to have taken place in Westminster Abbey on April 1st. However, due to current Covid restrictions, the service was unable to go ahead, and the gift was accompanied by a personal letter from The Queen instead.
The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony, inspired by the Bible. On the night he was betrayed Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and commanded them to ‘Love one another’. By the thirteenth century, the Royal Family took part in similar ceremonies on Maundy Thursday. Henry IV started a new Maundy Thursday tradition of giving the same number of gifts as his age. For example, when he was forty he gave forty gifts. Charles II started giving out coins and the tradition of giving coins has remained.
The Maundy Gift comprises a collection of specially minted silver coins.
Canon Margaret is a Lay Canon of Coventry Cathedral as well as a Cathedral Lay Reader. She has been a member of the Cathedral community since 1974 and has been a member of the Cathedral Council. Additionally, Margaret served as Chapter Clerk from 2000 to 2006. Margaret is something of an institution in the diocese having served on a number of key diocesan committees. Prior to her retirement in 1992, Margaret was Deputy Head of The Blue Coat Church of England School in Coventry, where she had a distinguished career from 1977.
“I remember the Queen coming to distribute the Maundy Money in Coventry in 1995 but never expected to become a recipient myself. It has been a privilege to serve the Diocese and Cathedral.”
More information about the tradition of Maundy Money can be found here.