Sheffield pensioners are delighted to receive Maundy money

Gillian MacGregor will be taking part in the Maundy Thursday service
Gillian MacGregor will be taking part in the Maundy Thursday service

Pensioners who have devoted decades to their communities in Sheffield have been honoured by receiving Maundy money.

David Banham, from Ecclesfield, and Gillian MacGregor, from Broomhill, were among the 89 men and 89 women to be given the coins by the Queen at Sheffield Cathedral yesterday.

David Barnham is to receive Maundy Money from the Queen for his work at St Mary's Church, Ecclesfield. Picture: Andrew Roe

David Barnham is to receive Maundy Money from the Queen for his work at St Mary's Church, Ecclesfield. Picture: Andrew Roe

David, aged 76, who has been involved with St Mary’s Parish Church in Ecclesfield for 50 years, attended the service with wife Julie.

After taking early retirement from the health service almost 20 years ago, he started to help run a tea room with other volunteers, which has raised vital funds for the church and local good causes.

The retired health worker said: “The church provided a tea room in Court House Antiques for about 12-and-a-half years which was run by a team of volunteers, seven days a week.

“About eight years ago, the antiques centre closed so we moved into the church.

“We run a coffee shop two mornings a week and have raised quite a bit of money over the years for the parish church and we’ve also given some to charity. The money is for work in the church and the community.

“I was a trustee for the Grace Tebbutt Housing Trust for 15 years which helped girls and women on remand, coming out of prison and fleeing domestic violence.”

David said he was ‘flattered’ when he discovered he would be receiving the coins.

He said: “The thing that got me was that you have to be over the age of 70 to receive it. I am over 70, but I don’t feel it.”

Gillian, aged 72, said it was a ‘privilege and an honour’ to have been chosen. The former council social worker attended the service with her partner Sandra Newton.

Gillian, who attends St Mark’s Church in Broomhill, has worked regularly at the cathedral and with the diocese for the last 20 years in various roles including child protection advisor.

She now works as a guide for visitors to the Cathedral and also serves food at the Cathedral Archer Project, which helps vulnerable and homeless people in Sheffield.

She said: “It was a great shock when I found out I was to receive the money. I just thought, who am I to receive it? It really is an honour to all of us who have worked together on various projects in the city and diocese.”

Doris Proctor, aged 82, from Firth Park, has been volunteering in her local community for more than 70 years. She started volunteering when she was 11 and has had many roles, including a Red Cross cadet, art class organiser and school governor.

For the last 27 years she has volunteered at the Sheffield Citizens Advice office on Stubbin Lane, Firth Park.

Chris Walker, of Sheffield Citizens Advice, said: “Over the years she has helped thousands of local people.

“She is a wonderful example of the commitment and dedication of the 170 people who regularly give of their time to provide advice and help to some of the most vulnerable people in our city.”