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High Sheriff welcomes dignitaries for annual church service
THE HIGHEST dignitaries in the land descended on Beaconsfield on Sunday at a church service for a royal law officer, whose role dates back to mediaeval times.
Sir Stuart Hampson, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, welcomed judges, royal officers and bishops to St Mary and All Saints Church in Windsor End for his annual ‘Shrieval Service’.
The office of High Sheriff has special concern for law and order and supports individuals and organisations committed to creating responsible communities.
And the congregation, which included MP Dominic Grieve and Lord Lieutenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, heard talks on topics surrounding the justice system.
Speakers came from across the community, with Imam Sultan Mahmood of Totteridge Road Mosque in High Wycombe delivering a reading during the annual event.
The congregation also heard from a mentor with New Leaf, an agency that seeks to support short-term offenders on their release from custody.
The service was led by Revd Dr Jeremy Brooks, the rector at St Mary’s and All Saints Church and Sir Stuart’s chaplain for the year.
He said: “It was wonderful to see so much of the community from across the county represented.
“There was an atmosphere of real celebration as the community gathered to pray for law and order and give thanks for all who work to maintain justice.”
The one-year tenure of a High Sheriff is appointed by the Queen and is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown.
Sir Stuart was given the role after a career which has included the positions of chairman of The Crown Estate and chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.
He was joined on Sunday by his counterparts from Berkshire, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire.
And accompanied by his wife, Lady Hampson, Sir Stuart welcomed the Right Revd Dr Alan Wilson Bishop of Buckingham, the county’s judges in their full robes and shoulder-length wigs and numerous lawyers.
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