Alfred Morris CBE DL - New High Sheriff of Gloucestershire

Issue date: 06 April 2006

Alfred Morris CBE DL The High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for 2006-2007 will be Alfred Morris, who retired recently as Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England and immediately took on the role of Chairman of an NHS Trust which serves South Gloucestershire and controls Frenchay and Southmead hospitals.

The Office of High Sheriff, which is at least a thousand years old, is the oldest secular appointment other than the Crown itself.

As High Sheriff, Mr Morris will be the Queen's representative in the County for matters relating to the judiciary, the courts and law and order. He will rank second in precedence to the Lord Lieutenant.

Mr Morris will take up his office at a ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral on Palm Sunday, 9 April in accordance with traditions spanning a thousand years.

At the beginning of the ceremony a Royal Warrant is read in which The Queen requires Mr Morris to “…take the Custody and Charge of the County…” and the words of his reply include a promise “… to do right as well to poor as to rich in all things.”

In recent years, High Sheriffs have been active in efforts to reduce crime and encourage an anti-crime culture, particularly amongst young people.

Mr Morris lives near Chipping Sodbury and has strong connections with many institutions and initiatives in Gloucestershire and throughout the South West region.
He has appeared in The Sunday Times list of 'The 500 Most Powerful People in Britain' and in its list of 'The Ten Most Powerful People in the South West'.
He is a former member of the South West Regional Development Agency.

Mr Morris will tell the congregation in Gloucester Cathedral

“… I am very honoured to become High Sheriff and I am determined to use this ancient Office to develop some priorities and themes I feel strongly about, including:

• promoting a better understanding of the remarkable history of Gloucestershire's communities and people, particularly amongst schoolchildren

• encouraging greater awareness of the splendours which give Gloucester Cathedral international importance, including the choir and musical tradition as well as the glorious buildings

• supporting further development of links between industry and commerce and Gloucestershire's schools, colleges and universities and celebrating their excellence

• arranging lectures and debates which address problems concerning reform of prisons, the penal system, and the probation service

• assisting fundraising by charities concerned with tackling social problems throughout Gloucestershire

Mr Morris will be accompanied at the Cathedral ceremony by his wife Annette and twenty five year old daughter Jessica, who attended Katherine Lady Berkeley School at Wootton-Under-Edge and now lives in Lyon, France.

For High Sheriff purposes, Gloucestershire covers the administrative areas of both Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire District Council.


Editors Notes

The following information is attached or available on request:

Biographical Note and Photographs, including a family group photo: these will also appear on a High Sheriff's Website: which is the first innovation introduced by the new High Sheriff

Programme for Gloucester Cathedral Ceremony on 9 April including Historical Note and Description of the Office of High Sheriff

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