By Ian Dipple Monday 18 February 2013 Updated: 19/02 12:50
THE BISHOP of Worcester has been appointed as The Queen's Lord High Almoner.
Dr John Inge replaces the Bishop of Manchester who retired in January having held the post since 1997.
Bishop John's main role will be to oversee arrangements for the Royal Maundy Service, where The Queen distributes Maundy Money - a small number of silver coins symbolically representing alms to the poor.
Today the money is given to people chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and community.
Bishop John will also be involved in the ceremony, wearing a linen towel around his waist to symbolise the foundations of the ritual by Jesus who chose to wash the feet of his disciples as an act of humility. He will also have to deliver the Royal Maundy lecture.
"I am honoured to take on this ancient role which is the Queen’s personal appointment. I shall be responsible for the Royal Maundy service which is a wonderful reminder each year that the ideal of Christian service lies at the heart of the monarchy, an ideal which Her Majesty the Queen has embodied so wholeheartedly in her devoted service to her people for over sixty years," he said.
The office of Lord High Almoner dates back to the early 12th century and some aspects of it still exist today including the awarding of compensation to victims of crime and funeral grants awarded by the state.
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