Mayor made in Priory to honour 100th year

City Mayor Making Ceremony 2018. Picture contributed
City Mayor Making Ceremony 2018. Picture contributed

It was the first time in 183 years that a Mayor of Chichester had been instated at Priory Park Guildhall.

Martyn Bell was made mayor last Wednesday, before the customary crowd of dignitaries, including the High Sheriff of West Sussex, former Mayors of Chichester and fellow councillors.

City Mayor Making Ceremony 2018. Picture contributed

City Mayor Making Ceremony 2018. Picture contributed

The Mayor Making Ceremony has been held at the Assembly Rooms in North Street since 1835.

It was relocated in honour of the centenary celebrations of Priory Park this coming year.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Bell said it was ‘a great privilege’ to serve as mayor in a year of very special ‘100s’, including the end of the First World War and the birth of Leonard Bernstein, who wrote the Chichester Psalms.

He said: “Prior to 1835 and certainly from 1541, when this former Friary Church became The Guildhall, the Mayor Making had always taken place here, so the Friends of Priory Park proposed it returned here just for this year as the first of the many splendid ‘Priory Park 100’ Centenary Events that the Friends are planning, to celebrate His Grace the Duke’s wonderful gift.”

Mr Bell has named homelessness charity Stonepillow and the Oxmarket Centre of Arts as his two chosen charities of the year.