Patricia Churchward , Herefordshire High Sheriff 2024-2025

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment. It is a voluntary, totally self-funded role and the term of office is for 12 months, with the new High Sheriff declared each year in March or April.

A Herefordshire-born farmer’s daughter, with 2 brothers, Powell and Lewis, and brought up near the Welsh border at The Stowe, Whitney-on-Wye.

I went to Eardisley Primary School and I went on to board at St David’s Ursuline Convent Brecon.

After A levels I went on to teacher’s training at St. Mary’s College, Cheltenham – majoring in French – then taught in Shropshire and The Black Country while living up in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

After marrying my husband Martin in 1981, he and I started a small Sports retailing business, which, eventually with our great friends and partners, Mark and Elaine Ellis, grew into a much larger concern over the years and became what is now known as M&M Direct.

We moved from Stourbridge to Worcestershire and then ultimately back to my home county of Hereford, to Breinton House, 3 miles from Hereford.

After selling the M&M business in 2006, we moved onto other ventures – with my own particular focus being on a 780-acre farm and estate called Brinsop Court, where I developed a now popular wedding venue, currently hosting around 130 weddings per year. Alongside this I have also managed the farm and the Estate. Martin and I also have interests in Hobsons Brewery, and a diverse property portfolio.

Throughout all this time our family grew to 4 daughters, Harriet, Alice, Molly and Florence. We have also welcomed grandchildren Minnie and Lennie, as well as all the girls’ charming partners, Matt, Claire, Jesse and Billy. It has always been a very busy household – along with Dora and Elsie the labradors and Bizzy, a Jack Russell!

I am honoured to be asked to accept this position and intend to approach the coming year with vigour, setting aside many of my other business responsibilities to enable my focus. I look forward to the role and if requested, being helpful where I can. I have been born with a sense of social duty, and it is through this that I have already been brought into contact with some wonderful work and worthy causes in the County.

I actively support and sympathise with the care and retention of our county’s Heritage and landscape values, education and faith, the challenges of rural and agricultural living for many, and also the less -than-privileged families and individuals across this county.

My intended, but not exclusive, focus for this coming year will be to shine a light on those in our community who find life difficult with children in early years, getting consistent care and good direction for parents and children alike and particularly those families who may find themselves challenged due to a parent being imprisoned or simply absent.

The famous saying ‘Show me the child at 7 and I will show you the grown up’ holds much truth, I think.

In conclusion, whatever the year holds for me, I can assure you I will try hard to make some no-matter-how-small but possibly significant changes for the better for some people, and to reiterate, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

If you would like to follow me over the course of my term, then may do so via Facebook & Instagram