Magistrate and former Powys councillor Kathryn Silk has become the county’s new High Sheriff – following a traditional ceremony at Tretower Church near Crickhowell on Friday, April 12.

High Sheriffs have been around for hundreds of years, but their modern role is to support volunteers and the justice system. The office of a High Sheriff is a non-political Royal appointment, and High Sheriffs are volunteers who receive no pay and no expenses.

High Sheriff
Kathryn Silk with Reg Cawthorne (the outgoing High Sheriff) (Lewis Chatfield - L.T.Chatters)

Kathryn, from Cwmdu – who has been a magistrate for almost 30 years and who represented Bwlch, Cwmdu and Tretower on the county council for 18 years until 2022 – takes over from outgoing High Sheriff Reg Cawthorne. She will serve in the post for 12 months.

Kathryn said: “I’m thrilled, but a bit daunted, to be taking on this role, especially after the great work done by Reg as High Sheriff over the last year. I want to do my best to help the county, and I’ll be delighted to take part in events that promote the wonderful work that volunteers do throughout Powys.”

Kathryn said she intends in particular to support two charities that support victims of domestic abuse in Powys – Calan DVS which operates in Breconshire and Radnorshire, and the Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre.

She added: “I have so often seen the pernicious effects of domestic abuse in the courts, and I really want to use my year to encourage support for these two brilliant organisations.”

Tia Jones, Lord Lieutenant of Powys, presided at the ceremony, and Judge Milwyn Jarman read the Royal Warrant and gave an address. Outgoing High Sheriff Reg Cawthorne spoke about his year of office and wished Kathryn well.

High Sheriff
Kathryn Silk with Reg Cawthorne (Picture by Lewis Chatfield - L.T.Chatters) (Lewis Chatfield - L.T.Chatters)

The Venerable Alan Jevons and Canon Rana Khan led prayers at the service, with former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, reading the lesson. Jonathan Cooper played the organ, and Kathryn Graham gave a short cello recital.

High Sheriffs from Gwent, South Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan, West Glamorgan, Clwyd, Herefordshire and Shropshire were present, alongside military and voluntary representatives from Powys – and family and friends.

Kathryn can be contacted by email on [email protected] and she will be posting about her activities over the next year on both Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) via @USPowysHS.