A DEDICATED church-goer from North Dorset has been nominated to receive a traditional Easter gift from the Royal family.

Sylvia Stoke has been selected by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, to be one of two Dorset recipients of the Maundy Money from the Queen at Windsor this Easter.

The 80-year-old, who is a former micrographic technician and provided much-needed information during the Falklands War on Ascension Island, has been the sacristan at the Church of the Holy Rood, Shillingstone for the past 60 years.

Sylvia is set to enjoy a day at Windsor Castle where she will receive a specially minted coin at the annual Maundy service on Thursday, April 18.

Every year, a number of men and women equal to the monarch’s age receive Maundy money from the Queen at a service on Maundy Thursday, so 93 men and 93 women have been invited to the service at St George’s Chapel, from across Britain.

Sylvia, who is going to Windsor with two friends from her Dorset village as her family live in the Shetland Islands, said: "I am honoured to have been nominated to receive the Maundy Money and I am excited and very much looking forward to meeting the Queen.

Sylvia, who worked as a wedding photographer for a some time, joined the choir at Holy Rood at the age of nine and still sings alto with them.

A keen supporter of the Girl Guide and Scout movements, she ran a Girl Guide company in Shillingstone and is the vice chair of the local over 50s seniors club and a member of the WI.

She added: “I am also honoured to be taking part in one of the most ancient of ceremonies of the church to commemorate mandatum that Jesus gave to his disciples at the last supper.”

Mr Holtam said: "Sylvia Stokes has been a faithful attender at Holy Rood church Shillingstone from birth over 80 years ago.

"She has sung in the choir, been churchwarden and served as sacristan and as sexton.”