The annual Royal Maundy Service will be coming to Worcester on Thursday 28 March when Her Majesty The Queen will be distributing the Royal Maundy gifts on behalf of His Majesty The King at Worcester Cathedral.

Ceremonial coins will be presented to 75 men and 75 women from around the country, including 39 people from our own diocese covering Worcestershire and Dudley. The gift is presented in recognition of their exemplary Christian service to church and community over many years.

The tradition of presenting alms on Maundy Thursday goes back to at least the 4th Century and in this country, the first record of The Monarch doing it is in 1213. In recent times it has been the tradition for the service to travel to different cathedrals and it last took place in Worcester in 1980. 

The service last year was attended by The King and Queen and was held at York Minster. The number of men and women receiving the Maundy Money is equivalent to the Monarch’s age.

For the purpose of the service, our Cathedral will become a ‘Chapel Royal’ with the Chapel Royal Choir singing alongside the Cathedral choir. As Lord High Almoner, Bishop John will accompany HM The Queen as she presents the gifts. He said: “It is an honour to be able to welcome HM The Queen to Worcester.

“This is an immensely special service and I know it will mean a huge amount to those who have been chosen to receive the coins, all of whom will have given years of service to their local communities.” Worcester Cathedral’s Interim Dean, Canon Stephen Edwards, said: “We are delighted that Worcester has been chosen as the location for this year’s Royal Maundy service.

“We will be pulling out all the stops to create a special occasion for all the recipients.” The Maundy service will take place in the morning and will be attended by invited representatives from across the diocese and county, including the recipients and their guests.

The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘Commandment’. It was on this Thursday, the day before he died, that Jesus gave his disciples what he described as a new commandment: ‘that you should love one another as I have loved you.’