Judges, Bishops and Bustards

Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

A stuffed Bustard in front of the pulpitHow are these unlikely combinations brought together?

The answer is a church service held last weekend in Wiltshire. The High Sheriff of Wiltshire organised a service to celebrate the Rule of Law in Wiltshire. The front row of the pews was taken by the senior judges in scarlet robes trimmed with ermine and toped by wigs, behind them were two more rows of judges in purple and black robes, and alongside them were the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriffs from neighbouring counties with plumed hats and swords, the Chief Constable and representatives from the Fire Brigade and Ambulance service.

The congregation was addressed by the Bishop of Swindon, who with the GBG’s stuffed Bustard “Hercule” in front of him declared that wonderful though the assembled splendour was, the “Great Bustard towered above them all”.

The current High Sheriff of Wiltshire is Dame Elizabeth Neville DBE QPM. She was previously the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, and was then the boss of the GBG Director David Waters who was a police officer in the Wiltshire Constabulary for 12 years. Her ceremonial hat is decorated with Great Bustard feathers (moulted from “Fergus” – one of our birds at the Hawk Conservancy Trust).

The order of service featured a very prominent Great Bustard, and the return of the Great Bustard was a central themes of the service under the banner of Hope and Regeneration.

The Great Bustard has always had a special place in the culture of Wiltshire, and the profile of the bird is rising with the successes of the project.

Categories: Great Bustards

Alex Stott

Posted by Alex Stott

Alex runs the Great Bustard Group website and online shop.

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