High Sheriff of Oxfordshire | Oxfordshire County Council

High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

The current High Sheriff of Oxfordshire is Jane Cranston

Jane Cranston

Jane was born in Yorkshire and brought up in East Sussex. She was educated at Benenden School in Kent.  

After a short spell in France she lived and worked in London for 20 years before moving the Wine Merchant’s business she co-owned to Oxford in 1988. She moved permanently to Oxfordshire in 1990 and has played an active part in local life since then, particularly in education as she was, simultaneously for many years, a governor of St Helen & St Katharine (where she was chairman), The Manor Preparatory School and both Abingdon and Abingdon Prep Schools. 

She remains a Governor at St Helen & St Katharine, is a Trustee of Vale House Care Home for Dementia, Chairman of her local village shop and Chairman of the newly formed charity Youth Challenge Oxfordshire (YoCO).

The office of High Sheriff

The office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in country outside the monarchy. Today, the former very extensive powers which the office enjoyed have gone and the role involves a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions. The role is voluntary, unfunded and non-political.

Duties include:

  • Participating in civic and community events and functions
  • Offering encouragement to those who are engaged in supporting the voluntary sector and those most in need
  • Pursuing themes and initiatives which bring communities together and benefit the social fabric of the county.
  • Ensuring the well-being of High Court Judges when in Oxfordshire


High Sheriff in Nomination

Richard Venables is an Oxford-based businessman who is also a keen participant in Oxfordshire Hockey; as assistant coach for the Boys’ U16 Squad and both coaching and playing for Oxford Hawks Hockey Club. 

Mr Venables sits on Islip Parish Council, is a Trustee of Islip Village Hall and is Joint Chair of the Oxford City Council Economic Steering Group.  He is a Director of VSL & Partners, is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, a Board Member of Experience Oxfordshire and sits on the Board of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Richard was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2016.


Shrieval Remembrancer

Oxfordshire does have a Shrieval Remembrancer however, who undertakes many of the Under His Honour Judge Julian HallSheriff's functions and is currently His Honour Judge Julian Hall.





Nominations open for High Sheriff’s awards

The purpose of these awards is to recognise people in Oxfordshire who have made outstanding contributions to the communities in which they live and work. Nominees will usually have had a high impact on the lives of others over a sustained period of time and will be recognised by other people working in the nominee’s area as inspirational and as setting an example for others to follow.

High Sheriff’s Awards will not normally be made to people whose work and commitment has already been recognised by the award of a National Honour or by bodies such as the Police, the Fire and Rescue Service and Oxfordshire Charity and Voluntary Action.

Nominations are welcome for people who have made outstanding contributions to any aspect of community life but this year nominations in the following area will be particularly welcome.

  • Individuals who are, or have been, involved in crime reduction projects, whether in prevention, rehabilitation or support for the vulnerable.
  • Individuals who have helped the homeless into work and/or accommodation.
  • Individuals who have helped turn around the lives of addicts.

Nominations closed 11 January.

Last reviewed
06 December 2017
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