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Maundy Service Honour for Shamley Green’s Michael Harding

Published on: 17 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2020

Congratulations go to Michael Harding of Shamley Green on receiving recognition for his long service to his community by the Queen, in this year’s Maundy Service at Easter.

Michael Harding with his Maundy Service coin pouch and letter from the Queen.

Sadly, due to coronavirus, the ceremony that was due to be held in Windsor, had to be cancelled. Instead, Michael received his Maundy pouch of silver coins and a letter from the Queen, via courier to his home.

Michael was born in Shamley Green, educated at Christ’s Hospital near Horsham, became a geography teacher and deputy headteacher before retirement.

He lives in the same house he was born in and has been a very active member of his community all his life.

He has been a stalwart of Christ Church in Shamley Green, chairman of Shamley Green History Society, a past parish councillor, and been involved in many other village activities.

For the Queen’s Jubilee in 2002, he wrote a book documenting life in the parish. He was also a major contributor to the Wonersh & Shamley Green Village Design Statement that is still used as a statutory planning document to this day by Waverley Borough Council.

Waverley Borough Councillor, Christine Howard (Shamley Green and Cranleigh North), said: “Michael is probably one of the most well-known and well-loved characters in our village. A thoroughly deserved acknowledgement from our Queen for our outstanding citizen.“

The four coins Michael Harding received on his recognition for community service.

The Royal Maundy Service is an abbreviated form of an ancient ceremony that was being followed in northern Italy and Spain in the 4th century.

It commemorates Jesus’s words and actions in the days before the betrayal by Judas, at The Last Supper.

In England, the ceremony has taken place since at least the 6th century, although not always on Maundy Thursday itself.

Recent evidence shows that King John took part in a Maundy ceremony in 1210, at Knaresborough in Yorkshire.

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