Jane King began her year in office with a formal Declaration at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, April 1 – continuing a tradition that stretches back for more than 1,000 years.
Jane King, from near Nutley, will serve as The Queen’s representative for law and order in the county, lending active support to the Judiciary, the Police and other Emergency Services.
She will also take an active part in supporting and promoting local voluntary organisations, particularly smaller ones.
The voluntary appointment is for one year; Mrs King succeeds Miles Jenner, DL, of Lewes.
Mrs King has lived in the county for nearly 40 years and has been an active member in the voluntary sector, serving on the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Lewes for 20 years and sitting as a magistrate at Lewes and Brighton for 25 years.
She was also a director of KeepOut, a charity whose aims were to divert young people from becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
She said, “It is a great honour and privilege to be appointed to serve in this capacity, and I will do so to the best of my ability. As Pooh Bear once said, ‘You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.’ And that is exactly what I plan to do.”
Each High Sheriff appoints an Under Sheriff for the year to assist them in their duties.
This year’s Under Sheriff is Kevin Smyth, from Ditchling, a solicitor and commercial mediator. He is a former Trustee of the Martletts Hospice in Hove and a former Chairman of Governors of Worth School.
High Sheriffs also appoint their own Chaplain to provide support during their year of office and to officiate at shrieval church services.
The Rev. Father John Wall, of Holy Cross Church, Uckfield, has agreed to fulfil this role.
Prior to coming to Uckfield in 2016, he was vicar of St. Andrew’s Parish, Moulescoomb, Brighton. He has also been the Chaplain to a number of Brighton mayors.