LANCASHIRE’S 176 Maundy Pensioners came to Blackburn Cathedral this weekend to discover the traditions behind their gifts from the Queen.

The Lord High Almoner, the Bishop of Worcester John Inge, told the 88 men and 88 women: “It will be a day of great celebration of Christian service, with Her Majesty being the model of leadership through service.

“It’s a unique honour as, unlike for other honours, the Sovereign comes to you.”

He described how giving Royal Maundy Money was an act of humility, reflecting Jesus’s washing the feet of the disciples the day before Good Friday.

He also recalled how one past recipient gave the Queen a jar of home-made marmalade in return for her gift.

Although the service is a private, ticketed event there will be community and family events held at the same time.