On behalf of the Mayoress, my Chaplin and myself, may I wish you all a happy, prosperous, exciting and vibrant New Year.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve attended 10 events, functions and meetings as your Mayor.
On Christmas Eve I had six official engagements (plus a few unofficial ones). First was attending the St. Theresa and Joseph Church. This was a very interesting service for me as I have never attended a Catholic service before. Then I went across the road to the Elim Church for their service.
After lunch I visited both Fletcher House and Cathedral View Nursing Home. Then it was off to St. Thomas’ Church for their Carol Service. This was particularly good as it was only carols but also gave the congregation an opportunity to choose which ones they liked to sing.
I finished off the day by attending Midnight Mass at the Cathedral. This was also a first for me.
On Christmas Day I had three official engagements (again a few unofficial ones). First stop was the civic church which is St. Cuthbert’s. After the service I visited some people at home and then headed off to share a mince pie of two with our Police who were on duty.
Then after visiting some more people at home, I parked my car and went on a tour of those places open for the day – which may of may not of included the pubs in the City Centre (hic). On my way up the High Street, I visited the Seagar Hall where the Elim Church were putting on lunch for those in need (which included your Mayor by that time). My last stop was The Swan Hotel to meet the many people who have chosen Wells as a place to stay over crimbo.
After all that, I headed of to friends for Christmas Dinner, which was marvellous. Later in the evening, I joined another group of friends to finally open my presents. I don’t think I’ve opened my presents so late in the day.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the whole Christmas experience this year. My only sad point was not being with my family back in Hedge End and sharing Stanley’s (my 8 month old nephew) first Christmas. However, I suppose missing one Christmas out of 34 isn’t too bad?
As for Boxing Day and the following week, I had no official engagements (just worked for most of it). However, the Mayoress and I hosted a party for friends in the Mayor’s parlour to celebrate New Year.
Over the next week my diary includes Council meetings and the installation of the new Vicar of St. Thomas’.