Dean’s Verger in Sheffield invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of decades of service

A Dean’s Verger has been invited to Buckingham palace today in recognition of his 26 years of service to Sheffield Cathedral and the city.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 2:24 pm
Dean's Verger, David Maw is being recognised for his 26 years of service at the Sheffield Cathedral.
Dean's Verger, David Maw is being recognised for his 26 years of service at the Sheffield Cathedral.

David Maw has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace after being nominated to attend by former Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe.

He began working at Sheffield Cathedral on January 2, 1996, and was promoted to Dean's Verger in 2007 – a critical role in a cathedral that is responsible for the opening and closing of the building for the safety of the congregation and visitors.

He said: “I look after the cathedral and everyone who comes through the door from homeless people right up to the Queen.”

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When it was announced a few days ago the Queen was not able to attend the garden party, David took it in his stride telling his colleagues: “I’ve already ticked that one off the list. I met Liz when she came to the cathedral for the Royal Maundy Service in April 2015!”

The Very Reverend Abi Thompson, Dean of Sheffield, said: “David is often the first person I see when I arrive at the cathedral and the last person I say goodnight to as he locks up the building.

“As well as taking incredible pride in his work, David is a superb colleague – wise, experienced and committed, but also gentle, thoughtful and caring.

“As the new Dean at the cathedral I have been so well supported by him and I’m looking forward to sharing many laughs with him in the years to come.

“There’s not a cathedral in the country that sparkles and shines like Sheffield Cathedral – and that’s down to David and the team he leads. I’m wishing him a wonderful and well deserved day!”

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Good and bad memories

David has been part of many memorable events during his 26-year career, both good and bad.

One of his first memories was the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and a sea of flowers laid across the cathedral forecourt.

He describes closing the cathedral doors at the start of the Covid lockdown and not knowing when the building would reopen as the worst.

Leading the coffin of his boyhood footballing hero Emlyn Hughes in and out of the cathedral was the most emotional.

David added: “My legs turned to jelly when the choir started to sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I also met and married my wife at the cathedral. I shouldn’t forget that!” David added.

“I’m very proud of the cathedral and I feel both honoured and humble to be able to come to work in this great building. I’ve taken great pride in serving the cathedral and the community of Sheffield.”

This year sees the return of the Wednesday afternoon garden parties at Buckingham Palace, which were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The Queen, however, will skip this year's royal garden party season, opting out of her regular hosting duties at Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse.

Instead, other members of her family will represent the 96-year-old.