ONE thing I want to try and establish this year is a West Lancashire Christmas Carol Service.
Plenty of organisations have a carol service, so why not West Lancashire? With this in mind, my week started with a meeting with my Chaplain, Rev Chris Jones, from Ormskirk Parish Church. We both think this is a good idea, so please watch this space nearer to Christmas for an update.
Even though the Olympics have gone, I still had one more related celebration to perform as Mayor. During the Games, several young people from Ormskirk School were invited to London to help provide a guard of honour for the athletes entering the Stadium.
These pupils had been chosen because of Ormskirk School's link with the Marshall Islands team who had earlier trained at Edge Hill University. These pupils not only had a taste of London 2012 but, in taking part in the opening ceremony, they did themselves, their school and West Lancashire proud. So I invited them into my Parlour to recognise their efforts and to say “thank you” for flying the West Lancashire flag at this big event.
As I've said before, so much of being Mayor is a tremendous honour and my week ended with a task I never thought I would ever do: representing West Lancashire in another country. On Friday, Louise and I went to Cergy- Pontoise, our twin town in France.
The event was the annual town twinning games, and teams from France, Germany and West Lancashire were there. What made this event particularly special was the efforts of volunteers. People like John Routledge, who runs the RAF cadets in West Lancashire and who managed to raise a team and organise their travel. People like the team members who agreed to go to France, no doubt at their own expense, to take part; and, of course, people like the volunteers who helped to host the games. They all deserve special thanks. For me, it was very special to see young people from France, Germany and Britain playing sports and having fun.
In two world wars their grandfathers probably faced each other on the battlefield, but, in a little corner of France last week, those terrible events were long forgotten and new friendships were forged.
I don't know how much the games cost or who paid for them, but that sight alone made it worth every penny.