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News

The High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire’s Justice Service to take place at Peterborough Cathedral

Thursday 22 September

Sir David Arculus, the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire 2016/17, will host the High Sheriff’s Justice Service at Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday 2nd October, at 3.30pm.

This annual service, brings together, in an act of worship, many people from around Cambridgeshire, who are directly involved in the maintenance of law and order, the administration of justice and related voluntary organisations.

This year’s Justice Service aims to reflect and celebrate some of the huge vibrancy and diversity of the Peterborough region and Cambridgeshire as a whole. As well as traditional hymns and lessons there will be a reading by members of the Faizan-e-Madina Mosque and an anthem by a choir who’s members come from Peterborough’s strong Polish Community. As well as civic leaders we hope members of the public will attend the service. 

‘I came to Cambridgeshire as a young man and helped Peterborough to become a bit of a media hub,’ said Sir David. ‘The City has been good to me and I hope it will be equally good to those who have come more recently. We live in a hugely vibrant multicultural community and I am sure that if we all work together there is more to come, both for us and for our children.’

Traditionally, The High Sheriff would have held Justice Services on the first day of each Assize, to pray that God give his blessing and guidance to visiting High Court judges in their work. In Cambridgeshire the service is now held annually, either at Ely or Peterborough Cathedral.

What is a High Sheriff

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year. 

Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector. In recent years High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in encouraging crime reduction initiatives, especially amongst young people. Many High Sheriffs also assist Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work.

High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse.