A well-deserved gift from the Queen

My phone was ringing, and my display showed it was Brian calling. I answered, and a very excited Brian said to me, “I’ve just received a letter from Buckingham Palace!” He was more surprised than I was, because I knew it was coming. Please join me in congratulating Brian Grumbridge, our Churchwarden and Treasurer, on becoming a recipient of Maundy Money from Her Majesty, the Queen. Well done, Brian!

Brian will be standing down as Churchwarden at our APCM after serving for 6 years. A few of Brian’s close friends felt it would be good if Brian’s immense contribution (still ongoing) to church life could be acknowledged in some way – whether with us at St John’s with St Mary’s in Isleworth, or at Holy Trinity Hounslow or in many other congregations around London over the years. As well as serving in numerous roles and official capacities, Brian has written several helpful and authoritative church histories, including of St John’s and St Mary’s. The Bishop of London Sarah Mullally was informed of the idea, and she decided to nominate Brian for the Maundy Money. The Bishop of Kensington Graham Tomlin said, “This is just a small token of our gratitude and esteem for all the work Brian has done for the church in the Kensington Area over many years.”

I must admit I wasn’t aware of the tradition of Maundy Money and had to find out more. I have since learned that the habit of Christian Kings and Queens giving gifts or washing feet on Maundy Thursday is an ancient one, as an expression of humility, after Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. In 1662, Charles II began giving out special coins on this occasion. Today’s recipients of Maundy Money are men and women, chosen because of exceptional Christian service in the Church and community. The recipients receive a red purse containing ordinary coins and a white purse with silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the sovereign’s age. You can find out more about the tradition of Maundy Money at the Royal Mint website by clicking here. And once again, congratulations to Brian!

David Maclure