THE HIGH Sheriff of Warwickshire’s legal service represented all faiths for the very first time.
The county’s High Sheriff, David Kelham, had his legal service at St Mary’s Church in Warwick recently. This service has been hosted at the church for hundreds of years, but this is the first time it was a multi-faith service.
Warwickshire’s High Sheriff is the King’s representative in the county for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order. Because of this, much of the High Sheriff’s year is spent supporting and encouraging the voluntary and statutory organisations who work in this area.
One traditional role of High Sheriff is the legal service, which has always taken place in October around the start of Michaelmas legal term, the beginning of the legal year since the days when the judges travelled out from London to hold trials at the assizes.
The event was attended by High Sheriffs from neighbouring counties, representatives from Warwickshire’s Judiciary, magistrates and the legal profession. The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, mayors from across Warwickshire and representatives of a wide variety of blue light services, charities, youth organisations were also there.
And this year, for the first time, there were delegations from some of the many religions represented across the county.
Mr Kelham, said: “The British system, based on common law, has been around for over 1,000 years, as long as High Sheriffs. My distant predecessors in the role have, at various times in the past, persecuted those of faith in the name of the law, serving as they were both Catholic and Protestant Christian monarchs.
“For this reason, I was delighted to be joined by representatives of such a wide range of faiths from Christianity to Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism all here together taking part in our service, bringing their prayers, thoughts, thanks and music together to this celebration of law, unity and understanding.
“My sincere thanks to everyone who took part and contributed to making this one of the highlights of my tenure to date.”
Leader of Warwickshire County Council (WCC) Coun Izzi Seccombe, said: “The High Sheriff’s Legal Service is always one of the many highlights of Warwickshire’s ceremonial calendar and this year’s was no exception.
“It was wonderful to see so many different faiths from around Warwickshire represented and I would like to offer my thanks to David Kelham for organising such an engaging and thoughtful service to mark the start of the legal year in Warwickshire.”