Civic Service and Commissioning for the Mayor of Lambeth.
As a local church of historic note and centre of community worship over centuries of service to Streatham, the friendly family atmosphere that prevailed in St Leonards on Sunday September 23rd was most reassuring for all those attending either as regular members of the congregations or visiting for the first time.
The weather might have been kinder but the evensong congregation and choir under the direction of Michael Emery gave fitting voice of welcome to the Bishop of Southwark, our Rector Mandy Hodgson, Deputy Lieutenant for Lambeth, Chief Executive of Lambeth, Mayor of Merton and former Mayors, Elected Members, Youth Mayor, family, friends and residents for a commissioning of the Mayor of Lambeth.
When in office the limitations sometime experienced as a ward councillor are measurably reduced since political impartiality permits communication across all Political Groups and Directorates. This enables out reach at all levels of responsibility to be experienced in schools and hospitals, from the need to pursue job opportunities for our young people, to the needs of the more vulnerable as a promotional duty of their first citizen. It is a demanding yet pleasurable duty in supporting officers and elected members in securing environments to be proud of, neighbourhoods worthy of extended praise and a community safety that will be enhanced in closing ranks on poverty and embracing the essentials of a comprehensive cross cultural belonging.
For these and many other considerations and responsibilities undertaken within the role of Mayor I was commissioned as follows by the Bishop of Southwark, The Right Revd Christopher Chessun in the presence of our Rector and the St Leonard’s congregation:
“I Councillor Clive Bennett will work diligently for all the people of Lambeth as Mayor. I will represent rich and poor, people of all backgrounds and nations, people of all faiths and those with none. I will encourage the council in serving and uniting our community. I will work to promote justice and the well being of all those who live and work in our Borough. I will speak the truth without fear of favour and do all I can to represent Lambeth as a progressive London Borough south of the river; endorsing the work of our officers and commending the energy of elected members.”