Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Royal Maudy purse for Ballymacash parishioner

Mr Hilary Morrison and his wife Jean

Mr Hilary Morrison and his wife Jean

Mr Hilary Morrison, a parishioner of St Mark's, Ballymacash, was a guest at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh on Maundy Thursday (20th March) to receive the Royal Maundy from the Queen.

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. He was a member of the RB's Finance Committee from 1974 until, under a new committee structure established in 1993, he became both one of the original members of the RB Investment Committee and also the first person to chair the RB's Executive Committee. He remained a member of the Investment Committee until his retirement from membership of the RB and, following the completion of his Chairmanship of the Executive Committee, subsequently returned to serve as a member of the Executive for a number of years. Mr Morrison was also an RB-nominated member of the Church of Ireland Pensions Board from 1989 until 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 Thursday's service by his wife Jean. Security was tight at the Cathedral, but 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.'

This was the first time for the Office for the Royal Maundy to be held outside England and Wales. There were a total of 164 recipients ' 82 men and 82 women, as the Queen is now in her 82nd year. 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. The distribution of alms on Maundy Thursday has its origin in our Lord's washing the Disciples' feet. It is an occasion rich in symbolism and ceremony and one of great importance to the Queen. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, who along with St Patrick's Choir, led the worship.