Honouring Dedication: Longstanding Churchwarden Invited to Royal Maundy Service

In a remarkable recognition of dedicated service to the church, Orry Mitchell, a Churchwarden, has been invited to the prestigious Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral on Maundy Thursday. This honour bestowed upon Orry underscores his unwavering commitment to his role within the church community.

The Royal Maundy Service, steeped in tradition and history, is a significant event in the religious calendar. Dating back centuries, Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. It is during this solemn occasion that the reigning monarch performs the symbolic act of washing the feet of selected individuals, mirroring the humility and service demonstrated by Christ.

One of the highlights of the Royal Maundy Service is the distribution of Maundy money by the monarch. This tradition traces its origins to the medieval practice of kings and queens washing the feet of the poor and distributing alms on Maundy Thursday. Today, recipients of Maundy money are chosen for their service to the church and community, embodying the spirit of selflessness and compassion.

Additionally, attendees at the Royal Maundy Service are often treated to the sight of nosegays – small bouquets of flowers – symbolizing renewal, hope, and the arrival of spring. These floral arrangements add a touch of elegance and beauty to the solemn proceedings, further enriching the experience for participants like Orry.

For Orry, a humble servant of the church faithfully carrying out his duties, this invitation to the Royal Maundy Service is a testament to his tireless efforts and devotion. It is a moment of profound significance, not only for him personally but also for the diocese of Sodor and Man, which takes pride in his exemplary service.

Orry commenting on his invitation said, ‘I was very surprised to receive a letter from Buckingham  Palace saying my name had been put forward to attend the Maundy Thursday Service at Worcester Cathedral and I’m very grateful for Bishop Peter putting my name forward. I became a churchwarden in 2004 at the Abbey Church in Ballasalla and over the years my role has expanded to include duties at Santan, Malew and St Mark’s in the reorganised parish. I’m very grateful for the assistance, help and advice that I have received from the clergy and especially the retired clergy. I fell very honoured, proud and humble to represent our local churches, the Diocese and the local communities from whom I’ve had great support.’

As he joins fellow recipients in receiving Maundy money from Queen Camilla and partakes in the age-old rituals of the Royal Maundy Service, he stands as a shining example of selfless dedication and commitment to the church. His presence at this historic event serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of service and compassion that lies at the heart of the Maundy tradition.

The Reverend Ruth Walker, Priest in Charge of the Parish of Malew, Santan and St Mark’s commented, Orry is a very hard-working church warden, offering support across the parish in both practical and pastoral situations. He does this with great humility as he promotes charity and community work and takes seriously the love of God and neighbour.’

In honouring Orry and others like him, the Royal Maundy Service reaffirms the timeless values of humility, generosity, and community that continue to inspire and uplift us all.