Last Wednesday evening, Patricia and I attended a Watts gallery "Art for All" event at the House of Barnabas in Soho when Dr Helen Bowcock presented her report on the social impact of the Watts Gallery. A terrific review of all that goes on the the Gallery of transforming lives through art- encompassing children, youth, the unemployed, the homeless, the disabled and those in Surrey prisons, adult learning and many other groups. Really inspiring and worthwhile.

The other speaker was John Nickson, known to both Patricia and I, author of Our Common Good. A brilliant analysis of how philanthropy can and should fill the gaps left by the decline in state funding. I recommend you read the book!

Last Sunday the 23rd April I and my wife, Patrica, were invited to attend the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Woking Parade for the Army Training Centre at Pirbright. Lots of soldiers marched past to the sound of a splendid military band, with the salute being taken by the Mayor of Woking and the lord Lieutenant, and I was standing beside them in my full uniform complete with sword.

Last Friday April 21st I was installed as High Sheriff of Surrey 2017/18. This was a formal ceremony with a congregation of around 200 as part of an Evensong Service in Guildford Cathedral. I read a long Declaration which included the words "I will truly and diligently execute the good laws and statutes of this realm, and in all things well and truly behave myself in my office for the honour of the Queen and the good of her subjects". This Declaration was witnessed by a High Court Judge and then the previous High Sheriff Richard Whittington passed me the Badge of Office. Richard kindly hosted a reception after the service to celebrate the occasion.