TWO people from Herefordshire have been given Maundy money by the King – but what is it and why is it being given to them?

Every Maundy Thursday, the monarch gives money to a number of nominated people from across England and Scotland. This year, Susan Lewis and Tristram Jenkins are the two recipients from the Diocese of Hereford.

What is Maundy money?

Each year on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, the monarch has presented older members of the Church of England with special "Maundy" coins.

The tradition of presenting alms on Maundy Thursday goes back to at least the 4th Century and in this country, the first record of the monarch doing it is in 1213.

A red purse contains a small gift of ordinary coins totalling £5.50, and a white purse contains 74p in silver Maundy coins.


Maundy coins are specially minted and are legal tender.

For 69 years the Queen gave purses containing special money to deserving individuals in a traditional Ceremony of the Royal Maundy.

The number of men and women always matches the Monarch's age. So at this year's service at York Minster, the King presented 74 men and 74 women with specially-minted silver coins to the value of 74p to thank the pensioners for their service in local communities.

These specially minted pieces are almost always handed out to worshippers over 70, nominated by local dioceses for their contributions to the church and the community. 

Who are the Herefordshire recipients?

Susan Lewis, one of this year’s recipients, served on various diocesan committees including the board of education and board of finance.

She also serves on her local parish and benefice parish church council (PCC) in Weston-under-Penyard, near Hereford, as treasurer.

She has undertaken this service for over 20 years alongside supporting her local Church of England primary school as a governor.

She said: “I was surprised when I received the letter and I wondered how my name had been put forward for this honour.

"I enjoy helping people in my local community, especially those within the church so it doesn’t feel like a job. I just see what task I can do and I enjoy getting on with it.” 

The second Herefordshire recipient Tristam Jenkins served as the director of education for the Diocese of Hereford until his retirement in 2002.

He continues to serve as a volunteer in the parish and wider community.


his includes helping to achieve a new education centre at St Michaels's Hospice, Bartestree, and championing school links with the diocese’s partner in Nuremberg, and upholding the cause of religious education in the county's curriculum.

He remains an active member of his church in Tupsley, where he regularly takes part in activities supporting the community, including performing "Open the Book" drama for children at a local primary school, and is the parish link with Tanzania.

He said: “I am deeply touched by this honour, and grateful to serve in a diocese which has pioneered inclusive teamwork in ministry, and has a strong sense of mission to the social and farming needs of the Marches, and to the children and youth of its schools and colleges.” 

The Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford, made the nominations and said: “The Maundy Money ceremony is an opportunity to recognise the long-standing contribution of two individuals, who have made an incredible difference to people’s lives and the ministry of the Church in our diocese.

"It is a joyous celebration, and I am deeply thankful for Susan and Tristram’s ministry in this diocese.”

What is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter, commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the apostles.

It is part of Holy Week, which starts on Palm Sunday, and not only symbolises the end of Lent but it also marks the lead up to the celebrations of Easter.

It includes Maundy Thursday and ends on Holy Saturday and is described as "the most solemn week of the Christian year".