History has been made by the appointment of Charles Bishop as the 843rd High Sheriff of Essex.
He is the first High Sheriff of Essex to take on the ancient role in the reign of the new monarch, King Charles III.
He said: “I am very honoured that in the 1,000-year history of the office of High Sheriff of Essex I have become the first to be appointed by King Charles III. It is a joy that my year as High Sheriff will include the coronation.
“I think at heart Essex is a monarchist county and that people will be swept along in the enthusiasm for it all, with many celebrations including street parties.”
As the whole country welcomes the crowning of the new King, there are also plenty of challenges facing many people in Essex. Charles Bishop has pledged that, as the new High Sheriff, he is ready to give his support and encouragement to help make the county a better and safer place.
“One of the roles of High Sheriff is responsibility for law and order and I want to give recognition and support to community groups whose work has a positive impact on crime prevention and community safety,” he said.
“A huge amount of voluntary work goes on in Essex and it is important to make sure that people are appreciated for what they are doing. With the current background of a rising cost-of-living I am conscious that it is a very difficult time for many people. The economy is also having an impact on funding which is affecting local authorities, community groups and volunteers.
“The judiciary is also facing cut backs year-on-year and this is a significant problem for the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts. They are all struggling and their ability to be effective is being reduced.”
During his year of office as High Sheriff, Charles will be supporting the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is run by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The Fund gives grants to charities and voluntary organisations in the county working to strengthen community safety and promote crime prevention. Since it was set up in 1997, groups from across Essex have benefited annually from the fund and support totalling over £700,000.
As a trustee of ECF, Charles, who lives in Great Braxted, has a wide knowledge and understanding of the charitable sector and, through his career, he has also gained in-depth experience of the financial world.
He said: “I am looking forward to my year as High Sheriff and learning more about public sector organisations, the judiciary and the emergency services. I also want to recognise a range of faith groups to include those with other beliefs, as well as the Christian Church.”
Whilst carrying out his duties Charles will be supported by his wife, Nellie, a retired nurse. The couple, who have three grown up children, are Essex born and bred and have a deep-seated affection for the county.
Charles grew up in Colchester where his father was an Army brigade commander.
“I have a huge interest in Essex and its environment. It is such a big area with a population of more than one and half million people and a very long coastline, so I can’t claim to know the whole county. It will be fun to get out and about and meet as many people as possible,” Charles said.
“I want to keep fit, as it is a demanding role. I do have a little bit of trepidation, but every High Sheriff I have spoken to has found it the most interesting and rewarding year of their life.
“Some of my friends have been joking that, according to history, as High Sheriff, I will have the authority to raise a hue and cry. That won’t be happening, but I will certainly be putting my best foot forward.”
If you would like to support Charlie during his year of office in raising money to support local charities, you can give online at https://essexcommunityfoundation.enthuse.com/cf/high-sheriffs-fund or call Jo Macaulay at ECF on 01245 355947.