Retired Dewsbury priest set to receive money from Queen’s Maundy

Reverend Elizabeth Lee, 91, who became a priest in 1990, has been selected to receive the Queen’s Money at Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth trained at 18 to become a teacher of religious education and later served as deputy headmaster and then headmaster, her last post being headmistress of Trinity Academy Cathedral, Wakefield.

She was then made a deacon in 1989 and a priest in 1990 because she felt that was what God wanted her to do.

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Ninety-one-year-old Reverend Elizabeth Lee was selected to receive the Queen’s Maundy money on Thursday (April 16).

Elizabeth, who feels “honoured” to receive the money from Maundy, said: “I knew God wanted me to be a priest, but of course women weren’t ordained back then, but we could become readers – I was a reader for ten years.

“When ordination was made possible for women, I had only one year of study to do because I had continued my apprenticeship in religious education and I had all those years as a reader.

“As soon as I was a deacon, I was put in charge of Saint Peter’s Church and ordained the following year.

“I then continued to take care of Saint-Pierre, but at 70, you retire.

Elizabeth became a priest in 1990.

“I then applied to continue in ministry – and have continued ever since.”

Although Elizabeth retired 21 years ago, she still works at Dewsbury Minster helping with funerals, services, preaching and visiting those who can no longer come to church to share the fellowship with them.

Elizabeth said: “It really fills your life, there’s always so much to do and lots of hands doing light work.

“I dedicate myself to my work because I do what God wanted me to do.

“And thank God I had very good health and was able to continue.”

Royal Maundy is a church service in the Church of England that takes place on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.

At the service, the British monarch or a royal official ceremonially – this year being Prince Charles – distributes small silver coins called “Maundy money” as a symbolic alms to elderly recipients.

This year, 96 men and 96 women have been selected to receive Maundy money – as it is based on the queen’s age how many people receive the coins.

Elizabeth was suggested by the Reverend Simon Cash, Rector of Dewsbury Team Parish, to receive the Maundy Money this year as she is a ‘much loved’ member of the team.

Elizabeth added: ‘I know other people who have received Maundy money so it’s a bit strange to be selected.

“I am very aware that Simon takes very good care of us.

“I feel honored and I feel that I represent all the other people who work so hard in the service of God or who help others.”

Rev Cash said: “We are really delighted that Elizabeth has been chosen to receive the Queen’s Maundy money.

“She has served the Dewsbury team parish faithfully for many years and is a much valued member of the team.

“She richly deserves to be honored in this way.”

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