Maundy Money honour for four Norfolk Christians

Lyn Fairchild, from Cawston, at the Maundy service at Windsor Castle.

Lyn Fairchild, from Cawston, at the Maundy service at Windsor Castle. - Credit: Supplied by Alan Fairchild

Prince Charles has presented four Norfolk people with pouches full of specially-minted coins in recognition of their Christian community service.

Lyn Fairchild, 75 and from Cawston, Betty Hastings from Cromer, Eric Swann from Dereham and Alan Riches from Bradwell were among 96 men and 96 women from across the country who were invited to Windsor Castle to receive the Maundy Money.

As 96 is the Queen's age,  each recipient was given two sets of coins - in one set the coins amounted to 96 pence. 

The Maundy coons and pouches given to Lyn Fairchild.

The Maundy coins and pouches given to Lyn Fairchild. - Credit: Supplied by Alan Fairchild

Mrs Fairchild - who made more than 1,500 facemasks for people during the pandemic - including one which was given to the Pope - said the service at Windsor's St George's Chapel was memorable. 

"It was absolutely magical, and wonderful that it was taken by Prince Charles," she said. "He put the purses in my hand and 'this is on behalf of the Queen'. 

Mrs Fairchild said one set of coins included 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p coins up to the value of 96p, and the other set had a specially-minted £5 coin and another 50p coin.

"There was a procession beforehand with the military in their bright red uniforms, and afterwards we walked to Windsor Castle itself and there was a wonderful reception," she added.

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Mrs Fairchild, a member of St Agnes Church in Cawston, also raised £7,000 for charity during the pandemic. 

Eric Swann is a Second World War veteran who has volunteered in the office of his church, St Nicholas' in Dereham, for many years. 

Betty Hastings has written a valuable history of her church, St Martin’s in Suffield Park.

Alan Riches has been a faithful steward of Bradwell Methodist Church for over 40 years and is circuit property secretary.

The Rt Rev Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich, said he was delighted that the four had been recognised in such a way.

He said: "This is a day when we thank God for the way in which each recipient has reflected the model of Jesus in serving others, set within the commitment of the whole church to love our neighbours.”

The giving of Royal Maundy Money is a centuries old tradition, and the name Maundy derives from an instruction from Jesus at the Last Supper that his followers should love one another.