The Wokingham Paper

Lucy is our High Steward and now our High Sheriff

Lucy Zeal
From left: JP Carol Kelly, chairman of the Berkshire Magistrates’ Bench; James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant; Graham Barker, Outgoing High Sheriff; Lucy Zeal, incoming High Sheriff; Jonathan Gater, Under Sheriff; and HHJ Heather Norton, resident judge

WOKINGHAM’S High Steward is now also Berkshire’s High Sheriff.

On Wednesday, April 3, Lucy Zeal was appointed in the role at a special ceremony, and will remain in office until April 2020.

The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest Royal appointment, with each county in England and Wales having their own dedicated title holder.

Their history and tradition goes back before the Norman Conquest when the original ‘Shire Reeves’ were Royal officials appointed to enforce the King’s interests in a County, in particular the collection of revenues and the enforcement of law and order.

The modern day High Sheriff has a very different role to that of their ancestors, but none the less plays an important role in our 21st century society.

Each High Sheriff approaches their year slightly differently depending on their skills, experience and their own areas of interest. Duties include:

  • Attending Royal visits in the County and offering support for Her Majesty’s High Court Judges
  • Supporting The Crown and The Judiciary
  • Promoting a wide range of voluntary work within their communities, together with encouraging and participating in projects designed to reduce crime.
Lucy Zeal
Lucy Zeal

As the Office of High Sheriff is independent and non-political, they are therefore very well placed to bring together a wide range of people within the community they serve.

Mrs Zeal will also of course continue to work closely with and support the Town Council as High Steward during this time.

She said: “It is a huge honour and a privilege to be offered the chance to serve the Royal County of Berkshire.

“I am looking forward to giving my support to all those involved with administering justice, law and order in our county as well as the emergency services.

“This appointment is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the charity and voluntary work that is undertaken by so many people, which makes such a difference.”

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