Area Presidency Donates to High Sheriff of Gwent Nurture Community Fund

by Megan Stobbs

High Sheriff Simon J. Gibson

The Area Presidency has recently arranged a donation of £60,000 from the Church to the Gwent Nurture Community Fund. The fund is overseen by the High Sheriff of Gwent, Prof. Simon J. Gibson, CBE, DL, a member of the Forest of Dean Ward, Cheltenham Stake. This fund is dedicated to providing a safer and better quality of life for the people of Gwent and aligns with the principles of community service upheld by the Shrievalty.

Following a lifetime of dedication to community and public service, Prof. Gibson was appointed as the High Sheriff of Gwent in 2023. The Office of High Sheriff is a non-political, voluntary Royal appointment, and the oldest office of State after the Monarchy. In the past, the 'shire reeve' (from which we get the word Sheriff) maintained order within their county on behalf of the monarch, as well as the collection and return of taxes to the Crown. Today, the High Sheriff still supports the Crown and fulfils a myriad of other responsibilities. The role includes significant support to the voluntary sector, emergency services, promoting crime reduction initiatives, and ensuring the welfare of visiting High Court Judges. High Sheriffs also encourage building relationships and understanding between religious groups and other organisations.

Prof. Gibson was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999, and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2018. He currently chairs several charitable foundations, government delivery boards, and private companies.

In the role of High Sheriff, Prof. Gibson had the opportunity to appoint his own Chaplain to give support at shrieval church services and other formal events. After much consideration, he chose Sister Kate McColgan, the Chair of the Interfaith Council of Wales Council. Sister McColgan, also a member of the Church, brings a wealth of experience to the role with her Interfaith work and 30 years of experience as a family lawyer.

Simon is passionate about community engagement. He encourages individuals to take an active role in hands-on service with their time, talent and, where possible, treasure, particularly in areas of acute need and poverty.

Commenting on the Church's donation, he observed, 'One of the blessings of serving as High Sheriff is the time spent with the disadvantaged and with wonderful community volunteers who offer selfless service to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. This generous humanitarian donation from the Church will positively impact hundreds of people facing despair, homelessness, and a lack of basic sustenance.'

Professor Simon Gibson's appointment as High Sheriff of Gwent is a recognition of his outstanding contributions to business, community, and public service.