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The Office of High Sheriff of Lancashire

The High Sheriff of Lancashire has ancient origins and is personally appointed by the Queen in her Right as Duke of Lancaster. The office, as Keeper of the Queens Peace, is unpaid and held for one year.

MORE ABOUT THE OFFICE OF HIGH SHERIFF ...

Back in 2005 I was asked by the Lancashire Lord Lieutenant to become a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) and I will confess that at the time I knew little of what the role would entail. The office of Lord Lieutenant is military in origin and said to date back to the reign of Henry VIII. The office holder was responsible for the maintenance of order and all military measures necessary locally for defence. It was not until 1569 that provision was made for the appointment of DLs.

As Deputies we assist the Lord Lieutenant in upholding the dignity of the Crown as he is primarily the Queen’s representative in the county. From time to time the Lord Lieutenant will call upon his deputies to perform certain roles including that of officiating at Citizenship Ceremonies. Many of the DLs have performed the role of High Sheriff and they will have supported many public and volunteer organisations prior to being appointed. In Lancashire we are particularly fortunate that Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO has been in post for 24 years and promoted a keen sense of public duty throughout the Lieutenancy and we are all looking forward to a special year in 2022 when the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee. The Lord Lieutenant will be finding plenty for the DLs to do!

Mrs Booth and I enjoyed our first physical visit this month upon the occasion of the launch of a Guidebook for School Children visiting the Hindu Temple in Preston. Of course, there could only be 30 of us present but this did nothing to spoil the warm welcome that we received from the President of the Gujarat Hindu Society Mr Nayee and his colleagues. I was invited to light the Diya and various presentations were made including a dance by one of the members. There were also several children there from the local St Stephen’s School where the understanding of diverse religions is an important part of the school curriculum. After the formalities we were treated to some delicious Chickpea curry and Chapatis with a “goodie bag” to take home afterwards.

We were both struck by the caring and peaceful way of life which is taught in the Hindu culture and there are important lessons for all of us to learn whatever our beliefs. The past 18 months have shown the value of life in sharp relief and the Hindu culture inspires us to consider the importance of each and every one of us as unique individuals. As the end of restrictions looks forever closer, we hope to experience the many Faiths that are practiced throughout Lancashire and celebrate a county rich in cultural heritage. There is so much to learn from sharing meals, art and culture as these provide the values that sustain our wellbeing.

At the end of July, I hope to start a tour of 9 Prince’s Trust groups throughout Lancashire to make presentations and celebrate the hard work of so many young people striving to see their ideas and dreams come to fruition. The Trust and its volunteer supporters inspire youngsters from areas of deprivation to carry out business projects through which many long-term enterprises have been born. I am looking forward to learning more about their activities and sharing these with readers in a future edition.

High Sheriff's Year - October

Early in October Anne and I attended the Beating Retreat at Fulwood Barracks as guest of Colonel Miller and his team. There is nothing more rousing than a marching band and the musicians performed immaculately making us all feel so proud of our armed forces. Whether it’s the army, navy or air force, there is a diversity of roles to perform and there are careers to take up at many levels. The social good provided by the army during the pandemic should not be forgotten with multiple examples of absolute commitment to keeping the citizens of our country...

High Sheriff's Year - September

The day of the High Sheriff’s Shield Hanging at Lancaster Castle finally arrived on September 3rd. Headed by mounted police with ceremonial uniforms and banners I processed accompanied by Senior Police representatives, my Police Cadets, the Under Sheriff, Judges and Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. We had been preceded by the Honorary Recorder of Lancaster with County officials and the Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant with Lady Shuttleworth. The Ecclesiastical procession including my Chaplain The Very Reverend Peter Howell-Jones brought up the rear as we...

High Sheriff's Year - August

Earlier this summer I had the privilege of presenting the British Citizen’s Award to Cdr Derek Scrivener who has spent 28 years supporting the Sea Cadets in Fleetwood and at 93 years old “Scriv” is a shining example of how the efforts of a dedicated individual can make a difference to so many people’s lives. The BCA medal is only awarded to 25 recipients bi-annually and is known as the “Peoples Award”. The event was attended by friends, family and Sea Cadets old and new who had many stories to tell about the gentleman who inspired them to do greater...

High Sheriff's Year - July

My column is becoming more and more like a commentary on the pandemic as the months roll by. I was hoping to share my experience of visiting two of the Prince’s Trust groups but all of the dates where cancelled due to ongoing concern about the transmission of Covid with virtual presentations hastily arranged. While this may be frustrating it is also encouraging that people and groups throughout the county are taking measures into their own hands to keep everyone as safe as possible while the rate of infection gradually subsides. Anne and I were hosted...

High Sheriff's Year - June

Back in 2005 I was asked by the Lancashire Lord Lieutenant to become a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) and I will confess that at the time I knew little of what the role would entail. The office of Lord Lieutenant is military in origin and said to date back to the reign of Henry VIII. The office holder was responsible for the maintenance of order and all military measures necessary locally for defence. It was not until 1569 that provision was made for the appointment of DLs. As Deputies we assist the Lord Lieutenant in upholding the dignity of the Crown as he...

High Sheriff's Year - May

When I took up the appointment as High Sheriff I was told by the Under Sherriff that the year would start quietly. This, I thought would be a good time to start putting dates in the diary for all manner of meetings by Zoom, Teams, telephone and just maybe face to face. There is no doubt that the online meetings have been an eye opener with no travel required and business conducted at a far greater pace but last week I had my first “real” meeting with Directors of the Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside. It was a giddy moment to be able...

High Sheriff's Year - April

My year as High Sheriff did not start as expected. Under normal circumstances the installation would have been carried out formally on April 11th at County Hall in Preston but due to the pandemic restrictions this was not possible, as was the case for my predecessor Catherine Penny. Plan B was to recognise the rules governing church services and include the signing of my declaration in a morning service at Blackburn Cathedral, but it was decided that this would be unwise so early in the phased relaxation of the lockdown. And so, to Plan C which was to...