The Queen to visit Blackburn for historic Maundy Ceremony
Her Majesty the Queen will be coming to Blackburn in April to hand out Maundy Money at the town’s Cathedral to men and women from across the County.
The Maundy Money Ceremony 2014
Every year the Monarch visits a UK cathedral or abbey to give out Maundy coins to people aged 70 and over in recognition of their service to their community and church.
This year’s visit, on Thursday April 17, will be the first time The Queen, who by tradition is also the Duke of Lancaster, has visited Blackburn Cathedral, which is Lancashire’s Anglican Cathedral. She will be accompanied by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Buckingham Palace will invite 88 men and 88 women from the Diocese (in line with The Queen’s age this year) to receive the special coins.
The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong, is delighted to be welcoming Her Majesty for the ancient ceremony. He said today: “I am delighted that the Cathedral has been asked to host The Queen for the Maundy Service this year. “This is a huge privilege as well as a great responsibility on behalf of the bishop, the Diocese and the County of Lancashire.
“I am confident that the Cathedral will conduct the event to the glory of God and to its usual standard of excellence and generosity.
“Maundy Thursday is an important part of any Christian’s preparation for Easter and I am aware that The Queen conducts her Maundy responsibilities with great devotion.
“I am sure that the visit will be a wonderful experience for all involved.”
Lancashire’s new Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, who was appointed in October last year, added: “It will be wonderful in my first year in the diocese to be able to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to the Cathedral.
“Normally people visit Her Majesty to receive honours, so it is symbolic that this is the only occasion that The Queen travels to make an award.
“Her Majesty’s gift of Maundy money to pensioners in the County in recognition of their service of others over the years takes place in a special service, on a day when Christians recall the servant ministry of Jesus as He washed the feet of His disciples, emphasising the importance of service and humility. I hope we all count this occasion to be an honour and privilege for Blackburn and for Lancashire.”
Her Majesty’s visit to the County for The Royal Maundy was also welcomed today by The Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, who is The Queen’s personal representative in the County.
He said: “There can be no more prestigious Royal Visit than that of Her Majesty The Queen on Maundy Thursday – what a delight for us all that it will be to Lancashire for the Maundy Service in Blackburn Cathedral. The people of Lancashire will give HM a marvellous welcome on this unique occasion.”
While the event is principally to mark an important day in the Christian calendar, The Queen’s visit is also an important day for the Cathedral and the town of Blackburn, currently undergoing a resurgence thanks to a series of redevelopments in the town centre.
These include the new Cathedral Quarter, an 118,000 sq ft development which will comprise a clergy court which will house senior members of the clergy and lay staff adjacent to Blackburn Cathedral; a hotel, 37,000 sq ft of offices, restaurants, shops and a new public square and bus interchange.
Welcoming the visit of Her Majesty to the town for the Maundy Service, Councillor Kate Hollern, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This promises to be a special event for Blackburn Cathedral, the town and the whole of Lancashire. The focus is on rewarding people who have given something back to their community which is something very close to my heart. I’m really pleased they are getting the national recognition they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council Harry Catherall said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming The Queen. Hosting Royal Maundy is a real honour for the area.
“Visits like these are also a great way for communities to come together and an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the very best aspects of our borough to the rest of the country.
“We are delighted for the cathedral community and all the people receiving honours. The cathedral is without doubt one of Blackburn’s biggest assets and at the heart of the exciting changes taking place in the town centre.”