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The Derbyshire High Sheriff’s Legal Service at Derby Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 26 November 2018

The uplifting service organised by High Sheriff Lucy Palmer took place at Derby Cathedral

The uplifting service organised by High Sheriff Lucy Palmer took place at Derby Cathedral

Ruth Downing (Rural Pictures)

The uplifting service organised by High Sheriff Lucy Palmer took place at Derby Cathedral on 14th October and was preceded by a reception and luncheon at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

The role of High Sheriff dates back at least 1,000 years and involved responsibility to the king for the maintenance of law and order  and for the collection of taxes. Although the role has evolved greatly, supporting the Crown and the judiciary are still central elements and the Legal Service ‘in thanksgiving for our freedom under the law, the Queen’s peace and our national heritage’ is a signicant event in the shrieval year. The uplifting service organised by High Sheriff Lucy Palmer took place at Derby Cathedral on 14th October and was preceded by a reception and luncheon at Derby Museum and Art 


The service began with the traditional Cathedral and High Sheriff’s processions – in the latter case the weather resulted in an abbreviated walk from the Cathedral Centre on Irongate. The Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mr William Tucker, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Judges, Justices of the Peace and High Sheriffs from six neighbouring counties were amongst those in attendance.

A dramatic fanfare began the service and the Cathedral choristers sang beautifully throughout. The service was conducted by the Revd Dr Elizabeth Thomson, and prayers of preparation and the blessing were given by the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, Bishop of Repton and Acting Bishop of Derby. The High Sheriff read the Prologue, lessons were read by Mr Geordie Palmer and Her Honour Judge Nirmal Shant QC, and the sermon was given by the Revd Julian Hollywell, the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, on the theme of building up a common good and breaking down the barriers of difference.

The service concluded with a stirring rendition of ‘For all the saints’ followed by the National Anthem. On behalf of the High Sheriff, members of the Derbyshire Federation of Women’s Institutes served tea and homemade cakes to the congregation before they made their way home.u


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