Roles within Bedfordshire

In Bedfordshire, whilst the role is largely ceremonial now, keeping the close links with our Judiciary and Police forces remains pivotal for the High Sheriff of today, ensuring that they have both the support and respect of the communities that they serve and protect within our county. Another key responsibility for the High Sheriff is to serve the county and the many families and groups that live within it and they play an increasingly active role in promoting a wide range of voluntary work within their communities, together with encouraging and participating in projects designed to reduce crime. By reaching out to people, the High Sheriff is able to leverage public institutions and local charities to help deliver against the pressing concerns and issues of the day. They can also act as a’ force multiplier’  helping to harness and spread the knowledge and power that drives the vibrant voluntary sector in this county. As the High Sheriff is both independent and non-political they are very well placed to bring together a wide range of people within the community they serve to work for the common good.

In addition, the High Sheriff is also there to recognise and promote the many community spirited acts undertaken by individuals to serve the wider good.  The High Sheriff gives their own personal awards, not only to those  high-profile successes but also recognising the daily achievements and sacrifices of individuals who are often unsung heroes within small voluntary groups who have made an outstanding contribution in some way. Other duties include attendance at Royal visits in the county and support for Her Majesties High Court judges when on circuit. Encouraging loyalty to the Crown and supporting the judiciary remains a central element of the role, as does giving support to the police, emergency service, probation and prison and to others involved in crime prevention.

The High Sheriff has a legal duty to appoint an Under Sheriff at the start of his or her 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 is most generously and freely given. 

The High Sheriff has a legal duty to appoint an Under Sheriff at the start of his or her 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 is most generously and freely given. 

The Under Sheriff

The High Sheriff has a legal duty to appoint an Under Sheriff at the start of his or her 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 is most generously and freely given.

The Under Sheriff to the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire is Karen Chase.

Chaplain to the High Sheriff 2022/23 

High Sheriffs traditionally appoint their own Chaplain to provide support and advice. In addition, the Chaplain will assist at shrieval church services, including the Justice Service, and on other formal occasions. 

The Chaplain to the High Sheriff 2022/23 – The Reverend Dominic Holroyd-Thomas

Fr Dominic grew up in St Albans, and after completing his schooling began exploring ordination in the Church of England. He completed a year at St Albans Cathedral testing his vocation before beginning studies at Westcott House – an Anglican theological college – in Cambridge prior to his ordination in 2017. Fr Dominic has an interest in Christian mysticism, and his dissertation looked at Julian of Norwich and her role in a patriarchal Church during a time of great social uncertainty. His Old English Sheepdog is named after Hildegard of Bingen. 

Immediately following his ordination Fr Dominic served as curate in the Welwyn Team Ministry in Hertfordshire before moving to Bedfordshire in 2020 to take up the role of Rector of Ampthill, Millbrook and Steppingley. He is also Chaplain to the local Air Cadet Squadron. 

Fr Dominic has two dogs, Hilda and Olaf, who he enjoys exploring the Bedfordshire countryside with. In between parish duties and dog walks, Fr Dominic will be found in one of two local watering holes – the pub or the pool! He is also a (amateur) guinea pig fancier, breeding and showing Abyssinian and Swiss guinea pigs. 

The High Sheriff Police Cadet

The High Sheriff’s Cadet in Bedfordshire is drawn from the County’s Police Cadets. The Cadet assists the High Sheriff during the year in office, may act as a Sword Bearer to the High Sheriff at ceremonial events and will also accompany the High Sheriff to other engagements in the County.

The High Sheriff Police Cadet 2022/23 – Lewis Waterman

Lewis Waterman was invested as the High Sheriff Police Cadet on Sunday 3rd April 2022.

Lewis is a full time student studying for his GCSEs at Queensbury Academy in central Bedfordshire.  He is the first High Sheriff’s Police Cadet from Queensbury Academy and the school are rightly proud of his achievement. Lewis has been a Bedfordshire Police Cadet for two years, based at Dunstable Police Station. He thoroughly enjoys volunteering and working with both the police and partner agencies to help protect the communities in Bedfordshire. Lewis is looking forward to the opportunities that his appointment will bring during his term of office.