Cathedral Guide and Author Receives Maundy Money

April 14, 2022
April 14, 2022 Michelle

Photo: Malcom Hanson with some of the team involved in the production of the new Pitkin Guide to Ripon Cathedral, by Joe Priestley.

Congratulations to Malcolm Hanson, long time cathedral guide, on being chosen to receive Maundy money this Easter from Prince Charles, standing in for Her Majesty the Queen.

This month saw the publication of the prestigious Pitkin guide to Ripon Cathedral, written by Malcolm working with a team of guides.  Malcolm has been a guide here for 18 years, helping to train other guides and welcomers and giving regular talks and tours.

A retired United Reformed Church minister, Malcolm is also receiving Maundy money in recognition of his work for the St Mary Magdalen and St John the Baptist Chapels and Hospitals Charities where he serves as vice chair. This includes the management of the almshouses, caring for the 17 residents as well as oversight of all the properties and the chapels. Both chapels were set up some 900 years ago and are still worshipping communities today.  St Mary Magdalens, the ‘Leper Chapel’ is a listed medieval building.

Malcolm received the Maundy Money at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Maundy Thursday. He said: “It’s a great honour and I appreciate it very much.  My initial reaction was why me! There are so many people doing voluntary work in many different situations in the community, so I see this in a representative way, receiving it on behalf of many, many other volunteers.”

Every Maundy Thursday, the Queen distributes special Maundy money to pensioners nominated by their diocese, in a service which commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. The number of recipients corresponds to the monarch’s age, so this year the gift will be distributed to 96 men and 96 women, in recognition of their contribution to the community and to the church. The sum gifted also equates to the monarch’s age, so this year, 96 pennies of silver coins will be distributed. For the last two years the Maundy money has been dispatched by post, due to the pandemic.

The service dates back to 600AD and these special coins have kept much the same form since 1670. They bear the portrait of Her Majesty designed for her coronation in 1953, even though the image on ordinary circulating coinage has since been changed four times.

“As I’ve thought about it, it has struck me that this is a wonderfully ancient tradition – going back even further than Ripon Cathedral!  For the disciples, having their feet washed by Jesus must have been awesome. Echoing that, it is inspiring and humbling to receive from an earthly monarch today”, added Malcolm.

Malcolm is married to Brenda, with family in the north of England and Edinburgh. He relaxes with table tennis and gardening, and as a tenor in the Ripon Choral Society.

The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson said: “I am delighted that in the ceremony in St. George’s, Windsor on Maundy Thursday, a wonderful servant of the cathedral and of the Ripon community will be honoured by receiving the sovereign’s Maundy coins.

“Malcolm Hanson has been an active and faithful supporter of the cathedral’s life and mission over almost two decades, not least as a guide. He has, in fact, taken a lead in producing the fabulous new Pitkin guidebook of Ripon Cathedral, published just last week. In the wider Ripon community, he also plays a central and demanding part in running the St. John’s, Bondgate, and St. Mary Magdalen’s Hospitals and Chapels Trusts. And all this in addition to his continued service of the United Reformed Church, after a lifetime’s distinguished ministry.

“So, on behalf of the whole cathedral community, I would like to congratulate Malcolm – and his wife, Brenda – and thank him for all that he does for the benefit of so many.”

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