Two bishops honour ‘very special lady’ Betty

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Two bishops honour ‘very special lady’ Betty

A Norfolk Christian, who two years ago was presented with Royal Maundy Money, has met and been congratulated by both an Anglican and a Catholic bishop for her work with her church community in Cromer.

Betty Hastings, who turns 98 on February 21, was awarded the Royal Maundy Money in April 2022 by Queen Elizabeth II and presented with it by the then Prince Charles, in a centuries-old tradition.

Betty is a member of St Martin’s Anglican church, Suffield Park, Cromer and during the Covid pandemic she put together a book on the church.

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, received a copy of it and nominated Betty for the Maundy award in.  Betty got to meet with Bishop Graham on December 19. She then met Bishop Peter Collins on January 9, arranged by her daughter-in-Law, Laura Hastings, who is Bishop Peter’s PA.

Laura said: “Betty is a very special lady and her life has been dedicated to the Lord. She has been playing the organ for the church for over 70 years and is still involved in the flower arranging at St Martins and is still a very active member of the mission of the church.”

Speaking at the time of her nomination, Betty said: “I am overwhelmed and excited at being given such an unexpected and once in a lifetime honour.” 

The giving of Royal Maundy Money by the sovereign is a centuries-old tradition, taking place on Maundy Thursday. 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.
There are as many recipients as there are years in the sovereign’s age. At the ceremony, 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 top is Betty Hastings with Bishop Peter Collins and, below, with Bishop Graham Usher.