South Tyneside pair receive Royal recognition from Prince Charles for their work in the community
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Cathy Barnes, from All Saints Church, in Cleadon, and Ken Lorrison, a member of the Salvation Army, in South Shields, were invited to attend the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, to be honoured for their work.
Prince Charles, who represented Queen Elizabeth at the service for the first time, presented Cathy and Ken with traditional purses containing Maundy money, as part of a cohort of 96 men and 96 women, reflecting the number of years since the birth of Her Majesty The Queen.
Cathy, 72, was nominated in recognition of her “valued contribution to the life of the Diocese of Durham”, including her role as a chapter member of Durham Cathedral from 2015 to 2021, which she describes as an “enormous privilege”.
She has also been involved in her local church All Saints Cleadon for 40 years, serving at various times as warden, parochial church council (PCC) member and Deanery Synod member.
Cathy, who is currently a member of the Shared Ministry Development Team, PCC secretary, and Lay Chair of Jarrow Deanery, attended the service with husband Tony.
She said: “We had a fantastic day. We were made to feel so special, the service was wonderful, and Windsor Castle was amazing.
“I was hugely honoured to have been chosen as a Maundy recipient – it came as a complete surprise, when an envelope postmarked 'Buckingham Palace' landed on the doormat! It was truly humbling, to be one of just under 200 men and women from across the UK to have been chosen.”
Ken, 80, was nominated for his commitment to The Salvation Army and the support he has offered to the most vulnerable in his community.
Ken, who attended the service with wife Maureen, said: “I cannot believe the nomination that I have received in the post. It came like a shot in the dark and in the short time since I am still thinking who has made this come true.
“This is all done for the good of The Lord, the way he portrays his love for each of us.”
For the last 39 years, Ken has helped to raise funds to enable to feed vulnerable individuals and families.
He also helps to organise events for The Salvation Army, including Christmas carols performed by the band in South Shields town centre, the Christmas Carol Service in Westoe Village and the model rail and model bus exhibitions.
And for many years, Ken has sold The Salvation Army’s newspaper in South Shields, where he has built up a rapport with those who pass him on the town’s streets.
The Maundy service dates back to 600AD, when Maundy money recipients were traditionally presented with two small leather purses, one red and one white.
The first contained a small amount of ordinary coinage, which symbolises the sovereign's gift for food and clothing. The second purse contained Maundy coins up to the value of the sovereign's age.
Traditionally, it is the Queen who distributes Maundy money to pensioners in a service which commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper.