Bishop calls for generous Partnership in new Dorset Council

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Mar, 2019 12:19 PM

The Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham has called for the need for generous partnership in the new Dorset Council when it comes into being in April.

Bishop calls for generous Partnership in new Dorset Council

Original photo courtesy Anthony Oliver

Speaking at a service in Wimborne Minster to give thanks for East Dorset District Council, Bishop Karen highlighted the stark differences across the County:
"The life expectancy for men in East Dorset is the highest in the Country, whereas in some of the most deprived areas of Portland it is nine years lower than the national average. East Dorset enjoys the highest income in Dorset, whereas in some parts of the county weekly pay is 11% lower than the national average."

In her sermon delivered to councillors, present and past members of East Dorset staff, representatives of Schools from across the District and many Community Groups, Bishop Karen also spoke of the strengths of East Dorset for the future as part of the new unitary authority:
"Giving hope to others across the county, bringing its resources to help the less resourced and bringing its ability to grow and embrace population change to those elsewhere experiencing change and growth in new and perhaps uncomfortable ways."

East Dorset will join with the councils in North, West and Central Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth and Portland to form the new Dorset Area authoirty, while Poole will now join with Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Bishop Karen spoke of how the area and Council had changed since it was formed in April 1974 with the merger of three rural districts, Wimbourne, Ringwood and Fordingbridge, and Cranborne:
"East Dorset has changed significantly in the lifetime of the Council with the populations of places like Verwood, Ferndown, West Moors and Corfe Mullen more than quadrupling. However it still retains its historic identity in the market town of Wimborne Minster, a place in the future which can give voice to the spiritual, historical and cultural life of the whole County of Dorset."

The Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset Mr Peter Harvey and the High Sheriff of Dorset Mrs Jacqueline Swift joined the congregation at the service, where there was a Ceremonial Handover of the East Dorset District Council by Cllr Mrs Toni Coombs to the Dorset Council Shadow Chairman Cllr Hilary Cox.

The collection taken will be divided between The Minster and the Chairman's Charities Mosaic and Macmillan. The Service was led by the Rector of Wimborne Minster and the Northern Villages, the Revd Andrew Rowland who has been a resident of East Dorset since 1982.

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