A Farnham Common man was presented with Maundy Money by Her Majesty The Queen at Worcester Cathedral yesterday (March 28). 

Every year, on Maundy Thursday, the current Monarch distributes the special coins to men and women aged 70 and over to mark their Christian service.

They are nominated by their local Church of England Dioceses and gather from around the country in a different Cathedral each year to receive the honour.

Due to His Majesty the King unable to attend as a result of his recent cancer diagnosis and treatment, Her Majesty Queen Camilla handed out the money on his behalf.

Scout volunteer Peter Cathcart received Maundy Money for his Christian service to the community of Farnham Common including his time with Buckinghamshire scouts, Farnham Parish Council and the Ickenham and District Society of Model Engineers.

Peter has been part of Buckinghamshire scouts for more than 20 years, serving as its chairman for the past 15.

He was part of Farnham Parish Council for 24 years and has been a Director of the Ickenham and District Society of Model Engineers' miniature steam railway since 1999.

Peter has spent five years training to become a Catholic priest, before changing course to study law. In fact he is still a practising solicitor, despite having earned his retirement.

Peter, 72, has always been inspired by his faith. He said: “I became an alter boy very early on and am now chair of my local church parish council. I’m also a lay reader and Eucharist minister.

“I knew I had an important letter from Buckingham Palace as it has a crest on the envelope!

"It is a great honour to be presented with Maundy money and the fact that it came completely out of the blue made it that much more incredible. I am a very strong believer in the Royal family, so to receive this gift from His Majesty King Charles is amazing really.

"My wife Fiona will be with me because she’s the one who suffers when I’m busy with all of these things. She stands next to me through all of it.”

Peter is one of three people from the Diocese of Oxford to be honoured; Catherine Hitchens of Fifield and Muriel Wigston, of Chenies Baptist Church have also been nominated.

The number of recipients is equal to the monarch’s age, and this year 75 men and 75 women have been chosen.

Each recipient is gifted two small leather purses, one white holding coins to the value in pence of the Monarch’s age and one red holding a special £5 and a special 50p.

Those who receive the money are nominated for their quiet and steadfast dedicated Christian service to our local communities and churches.

The tradition of Maundy money is one of the oldest of royal life dating back to at least 600AD, and in this country, the first record of the monarch doing so is in 1213.

Now a symbolic ceremony, the tradition began with kings and queens giving money to those in need and washing the feet of their poorer subjects, as Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper.

Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Her Majesty decided Maundy money should not just be distributed to the people of London, and so she travelled to various cathedrals or abbeys to give gifts to local people.