Herefordshire High Sheriff Declaration

Thursday 6th April
My Declaration Ceremony, in which I formally became the High Sheriff of Herefordshire for 2017-18, was just a little daunting, but also rather a thrill. It took place in Court No.1 at the Shirehall – an historic courtroom which celebrates its bicentenary this year – look out for the celebrations later. The ceremony was presided over by Sir Charles Haddon-Cave (The Hon Mr Justice Haddon-Cave), a High Court Judge who was resplendent in red robes and full-bottomed wig. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Darnley, was present, together with a range of guests representing many aspects of the life of our County (as well as five High Sheriffs from neighbouring counties).
The historic task of a High Sheriff was to uphold law and order on behalf of the Sovereign, but in modern times that role has widened to include all aspects of law enforcement, the emergency services, local authorities, and Church and faith groups, as well as voluntary organisations, so it was a special pleasure to see so many of those roles represented.
The outgoing High Sheriff, Bill Jackson, recalled the highlights of his extremely busy and productive year of office. I made my Declaration in the rather archaic language of the first Elizabeth (my priestly familiarity with the Book of Common Prayer may have helped here!) and I formally appointed as my Under-Sheriff Jeremy Wilding and, as my Chaplain, The Reverend Ruth Hulse. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, in an extremely witty speech, reviewed the role of High Sheriffs and spoke about