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21st May 2007
Maundy Thursday in Manchester
Of the 81 men and 81 women selected to receive Maundy gifts this year in Manchester Cathedral, 18 of them were Reader Emeriti from the Manchester Diocese.

Maundy Thursday has its origin in Christ washing the feet of his disciples. Churches later recalled the act by washing the feet of the poor and handing out gifts of food and clothing.

The Royal Family began taking part in Maundy ceremonies in the 13th century. The Queen hands out two leather string purses to as many church servants as there are years in her age. The red purse contains ordinary coins instead of food and clothing, while the white purse contains special Maundy coins consisting of the same number of pence as years in her age.

Recipients of the gifts were:

Jean Adams, (pictured) from Chadderton - a Reader at St Barnabas, Oldham for 14 years.

Geoff Aspinall, from Oldham - a Reader at Holy Trinity, Bardsley for 15 years.

Jessie Axtell, from Stockport - a Reader in the diocese for over 18 years. She is also the organist at St John the Baptist, Heaton and speaks fluent Persian. Jessie and her husband organise and hold services in Persian, in their home, for Iranian Christians in their area.

Gordon Burbidge, from Eccles - a Reader for 27 years.

Jean Douglas, from Blackrod, Bolton - originally licensed to St James, Calderbrook, Littleborough, where her late husband was Vicar, and St Barnabas, Shore, now ministers at St Katherine, Blackrod. She has been a Reader for 15 years.

Howard Gardner, from Didsbury - 79 years old and a very active Reader at
St James, East Didsbury for 48 years.

Elizabeth Hartley, from Ashton-under-Lyne - a Reader for 25 years at Holy Trinity, Ashton, now in a Team Ministry.

Geoffrey Howard, from Radcliffe - licensed in 1956 to St Mary, Radcliffe, which became a Team in 1991. He has served the same parish for 51 years. Geoff was also the voluntary Reader Training Officer in the Manchester diocese for 17 years from 1976 1993. He was later made Honorary Secretary for 4 years.

Reg Lockett, from Lostock , Bolton - licensed in Liverpool in 1973. He now ministers at Christ Church, Heaton.

Albert Mitchell, from Davyhulme - 81 years young and has been a licensed Reader at St Mary the Virgin, Davyhulme for 17 years.

Hugh Morley, (pictured) from Ladybridge, Bolton - not only has a distinguished Reader ministry of 16 years at Christ Church, Heaton, but is also Sub-Warden of Readers for the Manchester Diocese. Retired assistant chief probation officer, Hugh and his wife Brenda also rear Guide Dogs puppies for the blind.

Christopher Morris, from Peel Hall, Manchester - originally licensed in Flixton in 1950, is 87 years young and ministers at St Richard, Peel Hall, Wythenshawe.

John Nuttall, from Denton - originally licensed in Failsworth, Oldham in 1965, now ministers at St Anne, Haughton, Denton.

Elizabeth Pratt, from Astley Bridge in Bolton - a Reader for 16 years at St Paul, Astley Bridge.

Geoff Preston, from Bury - a Reader for nearly 50 years and is still actively ministering at St Peter, Bury.

Bryan Redford, from Prestwich - has had a long, very active and distinguished Reader ministry for over 38 years at St Gabriel, Prestwich and in the wider diocese of Manchester.

Cyril Shaw, from Bolton - aged 77 and has worked for 33 years at Locstock Parish Church as Church Warden, Treasurer and has been a licensed Reader for 17 years.

David Shawcross, from Firswood, Manchester - now 74 years old, has been a Reader at St Hilda, Firswood for 17 years among other duties including Church Warden.


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