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King honours Gerald for a lifetime of service

Gerald Fox, from St Etheldreda’s Parish, Ely, was one of 74 men to receive the Royal Maundy Money from King Charles III at an historic service in York Minster on Maundy Thursday.

Gerald was honoured for a lifetime of service at the altar and for many years of volunteering in the Church and in the local community at the first Maundy service of the King’s reign.

Gerald was accompanied to York on April 6 by his wife, Stella, who last October had received the Etheldreda Medal from the Bishop of Ely, awarded to people living in the area covered by the Anglican Diocese of Ely for outstanding community service.

Parish Priest, Fr David Finegan, said: “Gerald and Stella have devoted many years to fundraising for CAFOD and helping to develop Ely Parish’s strong links with its twin community in Prek Toal, Cambodia. They volunteer weekly with the Ely Food Bank and during the Covid-19 Pandemic, for many months gave unstinting service with Vaccination Programmes in the city of Ely.”

During the service, which is held annually at a cathedral or abbey in the UK, 74 men and 74 women – signifying the King’s age – are being given Royal Maundy money in a centuries-old tradition. The name “Maundy” and the ceremony itself derive from an instruction, or mandatum, of Jesus at the Last Supper that his followers should love one another. This symbolic act of giving a gift of money in small purses is a ceremonial living out of that Christian care.
At the service, the Monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses. A red purse contains ordinary coins, while a white one contains silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign’s age.

Pictured above are Gerald and Stella after the Maundy Service in York Cathedral. Gerald is holding the red and white leather purses containing his Maundy Money and Stella is wearing her Etheldreda Medal.