I had the pleasure of visiting the Shah Jahan mosque this afternoon for Friday prayers. A real poignant day for all as today was the first Friday prayer held at the mosque in over 100 days.

A huge thank you and congratulations to the mosque committee and volunteers for ensuring that all the congregation who attended complied with all the government legislation, social distancing and also registration on the track and trace system. The signage and labelling around the premises was well displayed and it was well observed by all.

Imam Hashmi delivered a great message and prayer to the entire community along with Woking people of Faith, which includes all faiths, churches, and various places of Worship.

An enormous thank you to Surrey Police and in particular, Woking PC - Tony Charles for his assistance and observation on the Friday Prayers. #shahjahalmosque #surreypolice #surreylive #surreylife #highsheriffofsurrey

  • High Sheriff of Surrey

A flag raising ceremony took place on the 26th June at 10.30am outside Guildford Cathedral to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. Mr Michael More-Molyneux, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey raised the Armed Forces Day flag with the Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford. They were joined by Shahid Azeem DL, High Sheriff of Surrey; Anthony Samuels, Chairman of Surrey County Council; Colonel John Baynham, Deputy Commander of 11 Infantry Brigade South East and Steve Owen Hughes, Chief Fire Officer and Veteran. The Rt Revd Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford was also present.

Also in attendance were Maj-Gen Tim Sulivan CB CBE DL, Brigadier Paul Evans OBE DL, Col Patrick Crowley DL and Canon Peter Bruinvels CC.

Sadly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hundreds of events taking place cross the county to celebrate Armed Forces Week have been cancelled. You can watch a video of the ceremony here


Mr More-Molyneux said, “Armed Forces Day is a chance for us all to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. From currently serving troops to service families, ex-service personnel and Veterans and Cadets.

“Surrey is considered very much by the MoD as a ‘military friendly’ county and as Lord-Lieutenant, I am very proud of that reputation. Having seen at first hand, our local forces supporting the NHS in the fight against COVID-19, I am very pleased to give a very public ‘thank you’ to them all today for a job really well done.

Surrey hosts four Army bases with 6200 service personnel and their families as well as 1,274 service children living in Surrey, four Reserve Centres with over 200 Reservists and nearly 2,750 Tri-Service Cadets. Additionally, Surrey is home to over 42,000 ex-service personnel and Veterans.

The Dean expressed her delight at hosting this celebratory event at the Cathedral “‘It is always a great pleasure to host military events here at Guildford Cathedral. We have held many memorable events in partnership with the military.”

Surrey County Council is celebrating Armed Forces Week by asking residents to post photographs of them and their loved ones who have served our country to their Facebook and Twitter.

  • High Sheriff of Surrey

I had the pleasure of visiting the Denbies Wine Estate kindly hosted by Chris White CEO, where I also met Sweet c’s Handcrafted Chocolates by Caroline Hill, along with Surrey Hills Physiotherapy ran by Helen and Massimo Barcellona with Markus Dell Photographer and Chimney Fire Coffee owned by Dan Webber, and in particular to hear about their challenges in the current climate.

Whilst learning about the challenges  they are all facing, it was refreshing to hear how positive they all were in their outlook for the future.

The weather was glorious, whilst practicing  the standard  social distancing, it was great to hear from Chris White CEO of Denbies Wine Estate  on how they have adapted to the current situation, where they have increased their on-line presence, with Wine and gifts, Opened the “Hatch on the Lawns”, along with Garden centre, hopefully starting turs, as well as hoping to open the hotel business, where the occupancy from 95%  and dropped down to zero with the lockdown.. these are challenging  times, but it was great to see how they have adapted to  the needs.. I was most impressed after my 3 hour visit to find Sir Adrian White going around the Lawns with his black bin bags and emptying bins.


Sweet C’s Handcrafted Chocolates,  well what can you say about this incredible company, that hand makes every piece of chocolate hand crafted and made in surrey for feasting. All carried out from Caroline’s House in Bookham, again apart of Surrey Hills enterprise. The cocoa beans imported from Columbia , where farmers and enterprise are encouraged and supported by many organisation as part of their corporate Social Responsibility  to support local families, I have to say the Milk chocolate for diabetics was the best I have tasted. I would encourage you to check-out the website and please support these independent retailers. https://sweetc.co.uk/ @sweet_cs-Chocs

It was great to learn from Dan Webber on his enterprise Chimney Fire Coffee, where Dan spent many years n Africa researching and classifying coffee beans before setting up his business in his shed in 2016. Again I encourage you to check-out Dans website and I would particularly recommend Peru Classic Espresso (chocolate). Dans workshop is in Ranmore Common where he has his team roasting, tasting and distributing coffees to individuals, as well as corporates, biscuit Blackberry. I would encourage you to pay a visit to their Ranmore Common roasting place https://www.chimneyfirecoffee.com/

I was totally amazed to find Surrey Hills Physiotherapy based at Denbies Wine Estate providing  Physiotherapy, Pilates and specialising wellbeing, addressing joints, bones, muscle and backpain business that is family owned by Massimo and Helen Barcellona. As someone who is involved in sports and played sports, the amount of time I have spent in physio room with ligaments and other pans, I have to say the setting, the treatment and rehab room are the best I have ever seen. The building dates back to 1800, and Barcellona’s have retained the woods and settings from 1800, it truly is a wonderful place, where technology and nature come together.. during the Covid19, the company has been teaching virtual classes including free access as well as supporting many housebound individuals. With Massmio specialism in ACL, I can see many football clubs using their services.

Markus Dell running the social media and live streaming contents along with his excellent photographer, please do visit them https://www.surreyhillsphysiotherapy.co.uk

Finally a huge thank you to all for hosting me and your valuable time showing me around.. It was a very unique experience.. Thank you and I will be visiting you soon.

Website, PR and Social media managed by www.andynewbold.com. All content is subject to copyright.

  Shrievalty Office, Estate Office, Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS.  Tel: 0208 541 9127, Mob 07968 334549 email: caroline.breckell@surreycc.gov.uk

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