ROYAL GREETINGS: Beverly Lindsay greets Duchess of Cornwall outside Birmingham Cathedral
DEPUTY LIEUTENANT for the West Midlands Beverly Lindsay welcomed the Duchess of Cornwall to Birmingham Cathedral for a special national service to celebrate the annual harvest.
The service, which is being held as part of British Food Fortnight’s campaign of ‘Bring Home the Harvest’ is aimed at reinvigorating the tradition of celebrating the harvest, and was first held last year in Westminster Abbey.
Introducing the next generation to the harvest tradition was at the heart of today’s service attended by 400 children from 20 schools across the UK.
For Lindsay, who was the first African Caribbean woman to take up the role of a deputy lieutenant in the West Midlands last December, it was also her first royal duty.
She met the Duchess of Cornwall at her car and introduced her to the line-up of dignitaries waiting outside St Philip’s Cathedral.
They included the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Shafique Shah and his wife Sadia, the High Sheriff of the West Midlands Dr Tim Watts and his wife June, the Very Rev Catherine Ogle, Dean of Birmingham, and Martin Tunstall, Clerk to the West Midlands Lieutenancy.
Ms Lindsay, who is chair of the Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK (AJN) told The Voice: “It was a great honour and a privilege to welcome the Duchess of Cornwall and I’d like to thank Paul Sabapathy, the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands for having faith in me to carry out this duty, as I am still relatively new to the role of a Deputy Lieutenant.
“It was wonderful to see so many children at the service which chimes with the theme behind a ‘Be Inspired’ youth conference that the AJN held over the weekend. Young people need to understand that ordinary citizens can make successes of their lives –
children don’t need to look to celebrities for role models.
“I’m delighted that the harvest produce at the service today is being donated to Birmingham’s Central Food Bank as the food bank was one of the initiatives I supported as chair of Birmingham Rotary Club last year.”
The Duchess of Cornwall wrote in an address to the service: “Years ago in Britain, the harvest service as almost as important a part of our national calendar as Christmas and Easter.
“I am so pleased that this tradition is being revived with a National Harvest Service to remind us how lucky we are to have food in abundance from Britain’s beautiful countryside. Long may it continue.”
The Right Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, told the service that farming is ‘a profession of hope’ and thanked the children for bringing such beautifully decorated harvest boxes, which were delivered to the food bank afterwards in a 100-year-old horse-drawn trolley.