High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

The current High Sheriff of Oxfordshire is Mrs Amanda Ponsonby

Amanda Ponsonby lives on a farm near Chipping Norton with her husband Rupert, second son of Sir Ashley Ponsonby, former Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. They have three children.

Amanda worked in Westminster before she had children: first in the House of Commons for Sir Geoffrey Howe, then in the Political Office and the Private Office at 10 Downing Street during the time Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. She then helped set up Lady Thatcher’s office after her resignation. 

On leaving London, Amanda worked for Sir Crispin Tickell, Warden of Green College in Oxford. She was a Governor of Oundle School and Chairman of its primary school, Laxton Junior. 

For the last 14 years, she has been a Trustee of the Rectory Society.  Since moving to Oxfordshire over 30 years ago, Amanda has been involved in a number of local community organisations in the north of the county and runs the family farm enterprise

The new High Sheriff of Oxfordshire was sworn in on Thursday 26 March 2020 at a virtual ceremony held at her home.

The office of High Sheriff

The office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in the 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

Imam Monawar Hussain MBE DL becomes the new High Sheriff in Nomination. 

Monawar is Imam at Eton College, Muslim Chaplain to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the founder of The Oxford Foundation, that seeks to support vulnerable, disaffected and low achieving young people through innovative educational programmes. He devised, pioneered and successfully piloted a unique educational programme confronting violent extremist ideology, aspects of which have been published and the programme has also been utilised to train RE teachers in the UK. 

Monawar also founded the national United for Peace: Communities United Against Extremism initiative that creates a shared space for people of faith or none to come together to affirm the values of love, peace, understanding and respect through a multi-faith service of readings, music and silent reflection.  He is also a founding member of the Armed Forces Muslim Forum.  

Monawar also serves as an advisor to a number of national charities including the Three Faiths’ Forum, the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion, the Prison Phoenix Trust, and NSPCC national advisory group on safeguarding and Muslim Children.  He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.

Shrieval Remembrancer

No Under Sheriff is appointed in Oxfordshire. However, a Shrieval Remembrancer is appointed who undertakes many of the Under Sheriff's functions and is currently His Honour Judge Patrick Eccles.