Dorset County Council chairman, Hilary Cox, officially welcomed nine new British citizens to Dorset and the occasion was marked with a peal of bells from St Peter’s Church, Dorchester.
“Each year we welcome around 140 new citizens from all over the world, people who have chosen to live in Dorset and become part of our community,” said Hilary Cox. “Acquiring British citizenship is a long and expensive process – taking a minimum of five years – and the citizenship ceremony is the final step. It really is a privilege to welcome them to Dorset and share this time of celebration with them and their families.”
At a citizenship ceremony the new citizens are individually introduced and welcomed by a Dorset County Council registrar and representative – usually the chairman or the vice-chairman. The new citizens then swear or affirm an oath to the Queen, sing the national anthem, and are presented with their citizen certificate and a small framed picture of the local area, before signing the citizenship register.
Leading the bellringing team of eight, Will Haydock, tower captain at St Peter’s Church, said, “There can’t be many things more British than the sound of bell ringing, so this seemed the perfect way to publicly welcome people into our local community.
“It is particularly resonant that we’re starting to mark these ceremonies in 2018, because it coincides with the anniversary of one of the most significant occasions bells have been rung for a civic occasion in the UK. In the First World War 1,400 bell-ringers lost their lives, and ringing church bells was restricted across the UK throughout the war. On 11 November 1918 church bells were rung across the country to celebrate the armistice being declared.”
To “Bellringing,” he said, “is a great way to meet new people.” If you’re interested in taking up the activity in Dorchester, please contact Will Haydock on 01305 458205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tags: Dorset County Council