Lord-Lieutenant celebrates vital contribution of voluntary organisations
Date Added: 14/05/2015
A special church service to celebrate the contributions made by voluntary organisations across the country was held by Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis.
More than 300 people attended the service at the Priory Church of St Peter, in Dunstable, on Sunday including the Duchess of Bedford, the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, the Countess of Erroll and her husband the Earl of Erroll, Mayor of Luton Cllr Mohammed Farooq, Cllr David Bowater, of Central Bedfordshire Council, Deputy Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police Jon Boutcher and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Glen Ranger.
There were also a number of town mayors, armed forces personnel, groups of army cadets, sea cadets, police cadets and fire cadets and representatives from other countywide organisations at the service whose theme was ‘social justice’.
The service, held in the presence of Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, the Bishop of Bedford, who gave the address, was led by Revd Richard Andrews, Rector of Dunstable. Musical was provided by the church choir, led by director of music Laurence Notley, and internationally renowned soprano Sofia Tselepidou.
As well as references to the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the service included the preface to Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Nelson Mandela’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
Mrs Nellis, who was supported by her cadets, Siani Bugtti, Oscar Golt, Grace Loczy, Alexander Smith and Connor Walker, said afterwards: “I was delighted that so many people from across Bedfordshire were able to share in this special service to honour the service and dedication of the many voluntary organisations across Bedfordshire.
“This year we commemorated further significant events in our history and linked these to living in our communities today.
“It was a particular pleasure to hold the service at the beautiful Priory Church of St Peter in Dunstable, which itself recently celebrated an 800-year history.
“The music from the church choir and from Sofia was wonderful and really added to the occasion. I was pleased to be supported by my Lord-Lieutenant’s cadets and all the other cadets and young people who provided the guard of honour for all those attending the service and who again were a credit to their organisations and to Bedfordshire.”
Attached photo by Keith Mayhew: People Press show:
Pictured after the service are (from left): Royal British Legion Parade Marshall Graham Church; Royal British Legion County Standard Bearer George McCallister; Rector of Dunstable Revd Richard Andrews; HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire The Countess of Erroll; Bishop of Bedford the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regimental Association Standard Bearer Barry Watson.