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Boy from council estate becomes Lord Mayor  

After growing up on a council estate, Catholic Cathedral parishioner Kevin Maguire has become Lord Mayor of Norwich. Here he shares a little of his vision for the city.

I am so proud to have been elected as Lord Mayor of this city. I was going to say “greatest city in the world” but that is not the Norwich way: one of the reasons I love Norwich so much is that it does not boast; it is a wonderful place of understatement where superlatives only detract.


I will use my year to give voice to everyone in the city. That will include promotion of the city’s fantastic commercial, scientific, and innovative industries. To this end, the Sheriff and I will work particularly hard in strengthening the links with our twinned cities in both Europe and beyond. 


I want to say a little bit about my background in order to explain my plans for the year. I grew up on a council estate. As a Roman Catholic, I became the beneficiary of a peerless, state-funded education provided by Jesuits. 

My faith has been an important guide throughout my life, especially in relation to ethics and action. And the Civic Life is all about helping others. 

It is for this reason that I want, during my year, to call upon the major faiths in Norwich plus the Humanist Society to provide members of a seminar group to meet three times over the year to discuss some of the ethical dilemmas faced in public service. I see them as the modern equivalent of the long-pensioned-off office of Lord Mayor’s Chaplain.

I have learnt over my life how essential education is. For a truly inclusive society, everyone must get the best start: they have a right to reach their full potential. It breaks down the class system and gives opportunity for a person to make their full contribution to our society.  


It is for these reasons that I want, during the Civic Year to promote Early Years Education and, to this effect, I am writing to Norwich’s Higher Education Institutes (which includes two world-leading Universities) and ask them to support a series of Lord Mayor’s Lectures. The lectures will be there to promote to everyone interested major aspects of early-year development. 

Labour councillor Kevin Maguire became Lord Mayor in a joint ceremony in which Caroline Jarrold, Community Affairs Adviser at Jarrold and Sons, was appointed Sheriff of Norwich. They replace councillor Vaughan Thomas and Dr Marian Prinsley respectively. The ceremony was the first in two years, since the pandemic had forced the former Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich to stay in post. 


Kevin is an active member of St John’s Cathedral in Norwich. His four children all attended Catholic Schools. Three went to university (UEA, Durham, Oxford), and he now has two granddaughters.   


Pictured above is Kevin Maguire. Image from Norwich City Council.





Eldred Willey, 16/07/2021

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