Fringe Box



New High Sheriff of Surrey 2023  Installed at the Cathedral

Published on: 29 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 30 Mar, 2023

The first High Sheriff in Surrey to be appointed by a king in over 70 years was installed at Guildford Cathedral on Thursday (March 23).

The first official task of the new appointee, Tim Wates, was to present prizes to the young winners of the Knife Angel art competition.

Winners of the Knife Angel art competition were given their prizes by the new High Sheriff. Photo NewBold PR & Media.

The official press release for the occasion said: “A High Sheriff is appointed personally by the Sovereign, and it is an independent, non-political and unpaid office, each occupant funding what they do during their year.

“It is the oldest secular office in the UK after the Crown, dating back to Saxon days.”

The new High Sheriff of Surrey 2023, Timothy Wates DL, was installed in his post at Guildford Cathedral on March 23. Photo NewBold PR & Media.

The new High Sheriff, Tim Wates said it was an honour to be appointed. “My theme for the year will be mental health. I will focus particularly on the interface between the Surrey Police and people suffering an acute mental health crisis and, with the police, will sponsor research in this which will be completed in the summer of this year.”

Tim Wates, the 2023 High Sheriff of Surrey. Photo NewBold PR & Media.

He thanked the outgoing sheriff, Christopher Critchlow DL, for “his fantastic year in office and also for his warm support for me as I have prepared for the role over the past few months

Christopher Critchlow, spoke about his year in office. “In accordance with historic tradition, the High Sheriffs of 2022/23 were called upon to read the Proclamation of the Accession of the New Sovereign, King Charles III, following the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

“This I did from the steps of Guildford Cathedral on September  11, 2022, and it  was the most significant role I had to play during my year of office.

“My other abiding memory will be of the delightful people I met all around the county during my visits to charities and organisations, many of whom are volunteers. Their unselfish work is inspirational and uplifting. My thanks go to all who work for their community in whatever capacity.

“Furthermore, we should all be grateful to the army, 30% of which is based in Surrey, for the fine work they are doing, in various situations.

Procession of the High Sheriff of Surrey Tim Wates, with the outgoing sheriff, Christopher Critchlow, led by police cadet Abigail. Photo NewBold PR & Media.

“As my year ends, the 27-foot high Knife Angel statue stands outside the cathedral, bringing a message of peace and a warning against the pain and suffering that violence brings; not just to the direct victims of it, but also to family and friends.

“The Knife Angel appeals to the young people of Surrey in particular, hoping they will help to ensure our society remains as safe as possible.

“Surrey is a beautiful county and it’s one of the safest in which to live. As I have been privileged to see, it’s also fortunate in having  so many people who care about others less fortunate than themselves.”

Tim Wates has appointed Caroline Breckell MVO DL as his Under Sheriff. The Rev Patrick Samuels as his chaplain, and police cadet Abigail from the Surrey Heath Unit as his cadet for the year.

Abigail takes over from Grace who this year supported the High Sheriff at many events as well as volunteering within the community.

More information about the role is on the High Sheriff website.

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