New High Sheriff of Lancashire Catherine Penny breaks tradition to be sworn in in digital ceremony
Lancashire's new High Sheriff of Lancashire has been sworn in to her new role via video conferencing.
Mrs Catherine Penny broke with tradition and took part in a virtual swearing-in ceremony.
The role dates back more than 1,000 years. But the social distancing demanded by the Coronavirus crisis meant it was time for a new approach to the ancient ceremony.
Catherine, who is Chairman of the Shepherd Street Trust, a Preston-based charity, which provides funding for children and young people in need of assistance and has held a number of voluntary roles, has pledged to highlight the work of those offering support during the pandemic and also highlight the work of voluntary groups and young people.
She said: "I feel honoured to take up the role of High Sheriff, especially as the first person to have been sworn-in using digital technology due to these unprecedented times.
"We all owe a tremendous amount to key workers, who are working in these very difficult circumstances and are having to cope with new situations, especially people in the NHS, carers, the police and other emergency services.
"As life gets back to normal once again, I’ll be looking to highlight the best of our county, including the work of voluntary groups and young people, who have supported others during these difficult times."
Each year Her Majesty the Queen personally appoints the High Sheriff of Lancashire. This ancient office is unpaid and voluntary and dates back to the reign of Henry II.
The new High Sheriff took over the office from the previous High Sheriff The Honourable Ralph C. Assheton TD DL.
Catherine is also renowned as a rose grower and formerly had her own rose nursery at Ribchester, near Longridge.
*The swearing in was held using Zoom technology.