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John Rathbone to receive Maundy Money at York Minister

John Rathbone will be receiving Maundy Money from Her Majesty the Queen at a service in York Minster tomorrow.  To mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, this year recipients for the Royal Maundy Money have been chosen from every Diocese and Country with the United Kingdom.

John was born in Coventry and has lived here almost continuously since.  He became a boy chorister in the old Coventry Cathedral choir in 1936, and thus was able to take part in a memorable Christmas Day broadcast from the ruined Cathedral in 1940.

In the middle part of the war he was evacuated to Lincoln; a lovely city with its magnificent Cathedral.  John went to university in Birmingham and after graduating spent one year in industry before being appointed as a mathematics lecturer at the Coventry Technical College.  He remained there until his retirement in 1986.

Throughout this time he was heavily involved in singing in several choral groups, including the BBC Midland Singers.  In 1946, when the Cathedral congregation resumed regular worship in the West Crypt under the ruins, he helped with other young people to produce Cathedral type choral evensongs in what was called ‘The Vacation Choir.’

John was connected with the Cathedral throughout the exciting period of the rebuilding of the new Cathedral.  He joined the new Cathedral choir just after the consecration, and enjoyed several years as a member under the able direction of the late David Lepine.

Since leaving the choir he continued to be involved in the life of the Cathedral in a variety of ways.  One of these was to become Cathedral Archivist, and he has continued to serve in this capacity every since.

The Revd Canon Tim Pullen (Sub Dean at Coventry Cathedral) said, “Given that we are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Coventry Cathedral this year, we are delighted that the Maundy Money is being presented to a long-standing member of the Cathedral community.”

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