On the 14th January I attended the opening of The Hilary Session of the Crown Court at Stafford, which was held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary in the town.
The congregation was welcomed by The Reverend Prebendary Richard Grigson, Rector of Stafford, who conducted the opening prayer. We all then sang “O Come, all ye faithful” before being led in the prayers of penitence.
As the High Sheriff of Staffordshire, I presented the First Reading, Isaiah chapter 42, versus’ one through nine, which was followed by the beautiful hymn ‘O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’. My wife, Alison, then provided the Second Reading, Matthew 3:13-17, ‘The Baptism of Jesus’, before The Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, conducted the Sermon.
The prayers were led by Mr Philip Taylor, a licensed reader, and then the whole congregation joined with The High Sheriff’s Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The last hymn, ‘As with gladness’, was followed by The Blessing read by The Reverend Richard Grigson. The ceremony was closed by the singing of the National Anthem.
It was a wonderfully uplifting ceremony and I would like to thank the Reverend Prebendary Richard Grigson for leading us through it. I would also like to extend my thanks to the choir of Foremarke Hall School, directed by Susan Bloor; organist Margaret Outen, Director of Music at St Mary’s Collegiate Church; and the trumpeters, Dr Paul Nevins, Mr Gavin Lamplough, Mr James Norden, and Mr Paul Mourant, for providing such beautiful music.