New High Sheriff of Essex is appointed
24th April 2017
At an event full of pomp and ceremony, held in the Chambers of County Hall in Chelmsford in front of the Lord Lieutenant and four senior judges, Simon Hall was appointed the 837th High Sheriff of Essex.
Simon, has lived in Great Tey, a small village in the heart of rural North Essex, since 1993. After graduating from Cambridge with a law degree, he quickly established a career in the profession and joined an international law firm in London.
Now, for the next twelve months, he will be closer to home as he takes on a different role, that of High Sheriff, which by tradition involves upholding the Queen’s Peace as Her Majesty’s representative for Law and Order, although in more recent times, the role has evolved and now has an emphasis on promoting crime prevention and community safety.
Of his appointment, Simon says he is “very honoured”. Having been a lawyer for 37 years and spending a lot of his time traveling and with London based charities, Simon is keen to learn as much as he can about Essex, although he admits that it is a large and diverse county and he wonders if one year will be enough time to learn everything that he should.
As well as being involved with the judiciary and all the emergency services during his year of office, Simon will also be forging links with the voluntary sector, visiting local groups and organisations. Another part of his role will be promoting the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The fund gives much-needed support to local organisations in Essex which tackle crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour issues.
Simon is delighted that by working with ECF he will be able to see the voluntary sector in action at grassroots level and provide support and encouragement to volunteers and the beneficiaries of those organisations. Each High Sheriff gives recognition to voluntary groups and individuals through the annual High Sheriff’s Awards, which is organised by ECF.
“Essex is the most extraordinary county. It is actually quite a rich county, but it has got pockets of deprivation, creating big divides”.
Rural issues, social exclusion, homelessness, education and employability skills are high on Simon’s agenda for his year in office and he is determined to use his time as a catalyst for innovation.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting people of all ages, who live and work in this exciting and diverse county, many of whom give their time to volunteer and selflessly help others. As High Sheriff I have an opportunity to give them the recognition they deserve and to bring them together with the various agencies that can work together and make a difference.”
During his year, Simon will be holding a number of events including a garden party, a fundraising lunch, and the Justice Service in Brentwood Cathedral. He will greatly miss the support of his wife Teresa, who died in 2015, but he will have the help of his four children, grandchildren and a loyal band of friends.
The role of High Sheriff is a Royal appointment which is self-funded and does not take money from the public purse.
For the people of Essex, Simon, in his black and silver uniform, white ruffle collar and carrying his sword, will be a welcome sight as he travels around the county, making an ancient role meaningful and relevant in the modern age.
To keep up-to-date with Simon's activities throughout his year, follow him on Twitter: @Essex_HS