Weekly Column: Mayor Billy Sheerin

Date published: 14 February 2020

This weekly column from the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Billy Sheerin, is about the places he has been and the people he has met during the week commencing Monday 3 February to Sunday 9 February 2020.

Monday morning (3 February) I went to the Senior Citizens Forum which is always very well attended, chaired by Christine Lord and Barbara Bergin is the secretary. This is a regular event attended by representatives of area forums in Rochdale.

We had a presentation from Citizen’s Advice who are based in Oldham but do outreach work to Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood. The Pennines West (Rochdale) office telephone number for Citizen’s Advice is 0330 330 9073 if anyone needs advice.

I then moved onto St John’s Hopwood for the licencing and installation of Reverend Kirsty Screeton.

Conducted by Mark Davies, the Bishop of Middleton, Rvd Screeton was made the new vicar of St John’s Hopwood and St Luke’s in Heywood. Her service of induction saw the church full to capacity with people who were welcoming her.

She held her first service and gave her first sermon to a joint congregation on Sunday 9 February. I wish her the best of luck in this new role.


Mayor Billy Sheerin attended the licensing and installation of Reverend Kirsty Screeton
Bishop of Middleton, Mark Davies, Reverend Kirsty Screeton and Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Billy Sheerin


Wednesday (5 February), Lynn [Mayoress of Rochdale] and I were invited along to St Luke’s CE Primary School, Heywood for the official opening of a classroom extension. St Luke’s is a superb school; the children were extremely courteous, friendly and unbelievably well behaved. It was a delight to meet Sheila Hancock there too.

When my children were little, my wife and I used to go to London quite regularly and one weekend - nearly 40 years ago - we went to watch Annie in which Sheila Hancock was playing Miss Hannigan. It was terrific.

She opened these new classrooms in St Luke’s as she is the patron of DigiSmart - educational apps for children – and spent time over two days with the children taking part in the DigiSmart literacy project and talking to teaching staff and parents.

It’s very nice being the mayor meeting celebrities, especially ones from the theatre, which both my wife and I love.


Mayor Billy Sheerin was invited to the official opening of a classroom extension at St Luke's Primary
Mayor Billy Sheerin was invited to the official opening of a classroom extension at St Luke's Primary, Heywood


Wednesday afternoon (5 February), I had a meeting in the Mayor’s Parlour with the Mayor’s Charity Ball Sub Committee.

The Mayor of Rochdale hosts a civic charity ball every year, raising money for the Mayor’s Charity Appeal. Mine is to be held at Rochdale Town Hall on Saturday 18 April 2020, sponsored by Premier Kia and Willmott Dixon, and will raise money for my chosen charities – Springhill Hospice, Parkinson’s UK, Leukaemia UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Hydro Pool, Shopmobility and M6 Theatre - as well as other local charities and groups.

Tickets are now available to purchase for the Hollywood themed evening from Rochdale Town Hall Reception or by phoning 01706 924773.


Mayor's Civic Charity Ball 2020


I finished my mayoral week on Friday (7 February) at the Rochdale Catenian Charter Evening. This is an anniversary sort of dinner, held once a year, to celebrate another year of the Rochdale Catenians.

We had the Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, attend the dinner at Nutters restaurant. We had a very nice meal, with very nice company.

I have been a member of the local Catenian Association for 40 years now - a group based on the shared values of Catholic beliefs and practices – and was presented a certificate by the national president Phil Brown back in December 2019. I always attend the charter evening when I can.

If anyone is interested in joining the Rochdale Catenians, they meet once a month at the Royal Toby.


Mayoral Invitations

The Mayor welcomes invitations to events held by local organisations and individuals. Due to demand, it may not be possible for the Mayor to attend every event he is invited to.

To invite the Mayor to your event, please complete the Mayor attendance form and return it to the Mayor’s Officer.

Visit: www.rochdale.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/mayors/Pages/mayoral-invitations.aspx

Email: mayoral@rochdale.gov.uk

Tel: 01706 924773

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