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Royal Maundy honour for Ballymacash parishioner

Mr Hilary MorrisonA BALLYMACASH parishoner has received the Royal Maundy from the Queen in a unique service at Armagh Cathedral.

Mr Hilary Morrison, a member of St Mark's, was a guest at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh on Maundy Thursday to receive the traditional gift from the the Sovereign in a ceremony which dates back to the 12th century. It was the first time the service has been held in Northern Ireland.

A stockbroker, Mr Morrison served for 30 years on the Representative Church Body (RB) of the Church of Ireland as an elected member from the Diocese of Connor, from March 1974 until his retirement from membership in March 2004.

The Ven Dr Stephen McBride, Archdeacon of Dalriada. said: "He is a man blessed with exceptional wisdom which has been especially helpful in the formation and running of the clergy pension scheme." Mr Morrison was accompanied to the service by his wife Jean and afterwards guests enjoyed lunch at Armagh City Hotel. Mr Morrison said: "It was a great honour to be a guest. I was very surprised to be nominated."

There were a total of 164 recipients 82 men and 82 women, as the Queen is now in her 82nd ear. All were over 70 years of age and have made a significant contribution to Church or community life. The four main Church leaders nominated people from their respective religious traditions from all over Northern Ireland in response to the request that the recipients should be as representative as possible at a service within the context of Anglican worship.

Mr Hilary Morrison, and right, with his Jean at lunch following the Royal Maundy Service in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.

jenny.monroe@jpress.co.uk


THE ROYAL MAUNDY

* The distribution of Alms and the washing of the feet on the Thursday of Holy Week are of great antiquity. The Maundy can be traced back in England to at least the 12th century.

* The Service derives its name from the Latin word "mandatum", meaning a commandment. and its opening words are. "Jesus said: 'I give you a new commandment."'

* From the 15th century, the number of recipients has been related to the years of the Sovereign's life.

* Recipients are selected because of the Christian service they have rendered to the Church and the community.

Ulster Star
28/03/2008