The High Sheriff’s Themes for his Shrieval Year 2021-2022

It is customary for High Sheriffs to adopt particular themes during their year of office which may relate to their own professional experience or drawing on knowledge gained through previous or current work in the County. In the year ahead my focus will be on the following:

Almshouses and the Elderly

This will dovetail in with my work as Vice Chairman of the Almshouse Association which is based at Billingbear in Berkshire and which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.  There are no less than 33 almshouse charities located within our county.

Modern Slavery

According to the Global Slavery Index

  •                3.5m people are in slavery in Europe and Central Asia;
  •                1.9m people are in slavery in the Americas; and
  •                0.5m people are in slavery in the Middle East.
  •                Shockingly one in four victims of slavery are children

Slavery also exists within our own communities and I look forward to working with the various statutory and voluntary groups seeking to reduce and prevent slavery in our County.

Berkshire Community Foundation

I will be looking to create a significant High Sheriff’s Fund to support the work of future High Sheriffs as well as making the office more accessible and affordable to a wider range of worthy candidates. I look forward to working with Gerry Lejeune and Jon Yates at BCF in this respect. As a Vice President of BCF I will be working closely with the Foundation to promote the great work it carries out across the County.

The 900th Anniversary of Reading Abbey

This year marks the 900th anniversary of the Foundation of Reading Abbey by Henry I in 1121. Reading Abbey was one of the great medieval religious houses in Britain and the Abbey Church was not only the fourth largest church in the kingdom, it was also the where Henry I was buried in 1135. I hope to be able to attend some of the events that are being arranged for the year ahead.