A North Shields resident has been invited to the prestigious Royal Maundy Service on April 18.
Ernie Scott will be among the 93 men and 93 women to attend the service, which happens each year on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. They will be honoured by the Queen.
He has been a member and chorister at St Peter’s Church, Balkwell, for 70 years and he is the church’s organist, a role he started 15 years ago. In addition, he has spent 35 years producing Master Musicians recitals – with more than 1,000 performances across the North East and Scottish Borders, featuring about 500 performers.
During the Royal Maundy Service, Queen Elizabeth II distributes gifts according to the number of years she has lived. Those invited will receive Maundy money in two small leather purses.
Ernie, 78, said the letter from Buckingham Palace was a ‘complete surprise’ and a few days later, he received a letter from Rt Rev Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, to say that she had nominated him.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to the service. It’s very humbling and a tremendous honour, especially if I’m the first from the Tynemouth Deanery to be invited.”