The High Sheriff
The High Sheriff is the Queen’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order; much of the High Sheriff’s year is therefore spent supporting and encouraging the voluntary and statutory organisations who work in this area. In Shropshire this means involvement with the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, the Police, Prison and Probation Services.
Traditionally High Sheriffs look after visiting High Court Judges to the county, although such visits are now rare in Shropshire. However, the High Sheriff does make awards to those who, in the opinion of the Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of certain offenders.
The Office of High Sheriff is apolitical and as such the High Sheriff is in a unique position to be able to bring people together within the county and to support the enormous contribution made by the emergency services, the armed forces, local authorities, church and faith groups and the voluntary community.
In a ceremonial capacity the High Sheriff assists the Lord Lieutenant of the county with Royal visits, is the Official Returning Officer for parliamentary elections and has responsibility for proclaiming the accession of a new Sovereign.
The High Sheriff is a volunteer and meets the costs of his year in Office himself. No part of his expenses fall on the public purse.
The Under Sheriff
The High Sheriff has a legal duty to appoint an Under Sheriff at the start of his year, usually a local solicitor. Often the Under Sheriff will have held the post for several years, a continuity which High Sheriffs find extremely helpful. Today the role is largely concerned with helping the High Sheriff at ceremonial occasions as well as assisting with other legal matters such as those relating to parliamentary elections. The Under Sheriff’s support and time are most generously and freely given. Read more here.
Chaplain to the High Sheriff
High Sheriffs greatly value the tradition of appointing their own Chaplain for their support and advice and for their assistance at shrieval church services and on other formal occasions. In Shropshire one of the most significant events of the High Sheriff’s year is the Legal Service which gives thanks for the Queen’s Peace and our Heritage. This formal church service is attended by the Lord Lieutenant, High Court Judges, visiting High Sheriffs and other prominent county dignitaries. The Chaplain’s time and support are also most generously and freely given. Read more here.