THE 2022 and 2023 High Sheriff of Somerset made her Declaration of Office at a Choral Evensong in Wells Cathedral last week.

On March 20, Jennifer Duke assumed the role of High Sheriff from Thomas Sheppard who held the position in 2021 – 2022.

β€œIt was a great honour to make my Declaration as High Sheriff of Somerset at a beautiful service in Wells Cathedral," Jennifer said.

"In the year ahead, I look forward to supporting the work of the police, the judiciary, the probation service, and all the emergency services."

The ancient Office of High Sheriff is an independent, non-political, appointment and is the oldest uninterrupted secular office under the Crown.

The High Sheriff is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as her representative in the county on all matters relating to law and order.

Jennifer has served as Church Warden of St Mary the Virgin in Luxborough for over 23 years, and supported her local community as a Parish Councillor and school governor.

Over the years, Jennifer has been an active committee member and more recently a trustee of Citizens Advice West Somerset and a governor of a group of five Exmoor schools.

Jennifer added: "Whilst I aim to support and encourage a wide variety of charities and voluntary organisations, I plan to focus on three critical areas for the county.

"Promoting opportunities in education and training for children and young adults, working alongside charities which strive to prevent children becoming involved in, or being victims of crime, and finally addressing the issue of child food poverty and, at the same time, promoting local Somerset food produce.”

This year-long, non-political and independent appointment provides support for the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and the emergency services without resort to the public purse.

The High Sheriff of Somerset serves the following six districts in the county; South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Sedgemoor, Mendip, Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary), and North Somerset (Unitary).