Former member of staff, Professor John Crewdson, has received Maundy money from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his long and distinguished service to the Diocese of Blackburn.

Former staff member John Crewdson and wife with Maundy gift.

He was one of 94 people selected nationally to receive a Maundy gift from the Queen at a ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Maundy Thursday (Thursday 9 April 2020). Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, the ceremony was cancelled, and the Maundy Money sent by post instead.

John and his wife, Sylvia, celebrated the occasion in style, at home instead. He said: “I was very sad to miss the service, due to COVID-19, but in the scheme of things going on in the world at the time, it wasn’t important. My wife and I made a day of it at home by ourselves and enjoyed a bottle of bubbly. I received congratulations from friends and former colleagues from all over the world.”

In a letter to Professor Crewdson, the Queen said: “It is one of my most rewarding duties as Sovereign to observe this highly significant ceremony at such an important part in the Christian calendar. I know that you, as a Recipient of this year’s Maundy Gift, will be as deeply disappointed as I am that it is not going ahead, while understanding the necessary decision in the current circumstances.

“However, this should not mean your invaluable contribution within the community goes unnoticed, and I am sending this Maundy Gift to thank you for your Christian service.”

John was nominated for the Maundy gift by the Blackburn Diocese in recognition of “his long and distinguished service in a voluntary capacity to the education community in the Diocese and the local area and beyond”.

As a Governor for 25 years and Chair of Governors for 15 years at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy in Lancaster, John made a remarkable contribution to the school; so much so that the school built and named a school library after him. He is also the founding Chair of the Bay Learning Trust and has served the Education Sector as a National Leader of Governance.

John said: “I was both humbled and honoured to have been nominated and selected to receive this special recognition and honour. The Maundy parcel contained a personalised letter signed by the Queen expressing her regret at not being able to distribute the money personally, together with a letter from the Lord High Almoner also expressing his regret that the ceremony could not take place.”

Professor Crewdson was appointed to Trinity and All Saints College in 1968 as a Lecturer in Economics and Education. As the Department of Economics grew, he was appointed Head of Department and became a Principal Lecturer. He was given the responsibility for the diversification of the College's degree portfolio and introduced degrees in Business Studies and the range of vocational courses in Planning and Administration. He subsequently became Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies with responsibility for professional courses in Education, Public Media, and Planning and Administration. He left TASC in 1986 to become Vice-Principal of St Martin’s College in Lancaster, the Anglican sister college of TASC that had been established at the same time as TASC as a teacher training college.

Brett Arnall, Alumni Relations Officer at Leeds Trinity University, said: “We have always warmly welcomed former staff as members of our alumni community. It is great to hear of their outstanding achievements and I feel very proud that they still celebrate these with the Leeds Trinity community. This is an incredible award to be bestowed to John and it is extremely well deserved. It is very disappointing that John was not able to enjoy the ceremony he deserved to attend due to the coronavirus, but it says a lot about him as a person that he still made the most out of the occasion at home. Well done, on this incredible achievement, John.”

Maundy gifts were introduced in the 13th Century, but King Henry IV later declared that the amount of Maundy Money given should be equal in silver pence to the age of the monarch. It became an annual custom for the monarch to distribute Maundy Money, known as the Royal Maundy. Today’s recipients of Royal Maundy are elderly men and women, chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and the community. The ceremony takes place every Maundy Thursday and there are as many recipients as there are years in the Sovereign’s age.

Categories: Alumni

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