Proud William's date with the Queen

AN octogenarian is today preparing to be honoured by the Queen in recognition of his tireless work for his church and the community he loves.

AN octogenarian is today preparing to be honoured by the Queen in recognition of his tireless work for his church and the community he loves.

William Scarff, 88, from Combs, has been invited to attend the Maundy service at Bury St Edmunds cathedral in April, as one of 83 men and 83 women who have committed themselves to church and community life.

The number reflects the Queen's age and those attending will receive a white purse containing 83 pence in Maundy coins and a red purse containing �5.50 in cash.

Maundy coins, newly minted each year, are legal tender, but have a much higher value to collectors.

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Mr Scarff, a lay preacher at the United Reformed Church in Stowmarket for 60 years and a worshipper there for 70, said: “This was a complete surprise to me.

“When I received my invitation I was thrilled, it never entered my head that this could happen to me.

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“I am fortunate that I have my health and my strength to help others and even though I am getting older, I will carry on helping others and fundraising.”

Claire Calver, Mr Scarff's granddaughter, from Stowmarket, said: “My granddad leads a selfless life in the house he grew up in as a child. He is a lay preacher and still at this late stage in his life he preaches.

“He takes bible study and hosts a coffee morning at his house every month in aid of charity, normally children's charities.

“He still drives and is often giving people lifts. He spends most of his time helping others or visiting the sick. He has just become a proud great-grandfather for the third time with his first great-granddaughter.

“It is really exciting is that he has received a letter from Buckingham Palace inviting him to meet the Queen.

“I am very proud of him.”

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “Every year the Queen attends a Maundy service and she likes to hold them at different cathedrals around the country, this year at Bury St Edmunds.

“Inviting the men and women is a way of showing how important they have been and the part they have played within their community and church life in the area.”

Those invited to attend will have been put forward by the church leaders in recognition of their efforts through the years and being part of the service is a tremendous honour.

Have you been honoured for your community efforts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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