PEOPLE from all areas and social groups in Portsmouth are being invited to gather together on Sunday to celebrate a ‘vibrant and historic’ city.
Portsmouth City Council and St Thomas’ Cathedral, Old Portsmouth, is holding its annual city service in celebration of community life and activities.
It will be the first official engagement of Lord Mayor Councillor Cheryl Buggy, who promised at her mayor-making on Tuesday to promote the positive things happening in Portsmouth.
She said: ‘I’m really looking forward to it.
‘There is a huge number of great things happening in this city and this is a chance for everyone to get together to celebrate that.
‘I think we sometimes overlook things which are familiar, but still wonderful about this city, including the seafront and Southsea Common and its history.
‘This has been and is still an important port and there’s never been a time when fascinating things weren’t coming in here, or going out. There’s a story on every street corner. I also feel a great strength is the city’s friendliness and its safe atmosphere.
‘But we also have to remember everyone will have their own reasons to feel proud of the city, for example, football fans will be proud of Pompey. Students who come here often don’t leave because they like what they see so much. That’s another of our great strengths.
‘Whoever you are, there’s something for everyone.’
The service starts at 11.15am at the cathedral, following a procession of city councillors.
Representatives from the navy, schools, health centres, Portsmouth FC and faith groups have been invited to the event which echoes the city’s Passion for Portsmouth campaign, backed by The News.
Cllr Buggy said: ‘The service should be the city on a small scale, with everyone coming together. This is a good place to live, and it’s the people who make that the case. So I hope it will truly reflect what’s happening here.’
The Very Rev David Brindley, dean of St Thomas’ Cathedral, said: ‘The sermon itself will be led by Canon Nick Ralph, and the whole service is a celebration of what’s good about the city.
‘It’s an annual event and a chance for everyone to come together in celebration, both at the service and in the reception afterwards.
‘I think the main strengths of the city lie in its vibrancy. It’s an exciting, interesting place to live, with people involved and engaged in everything that’s happening. There’s so much going on here.
‘I also feel our educational establishments, schools, colleges and the university should be praised and recognised for the great work they do, preparing and helping to shape the people who are the city’s future. I hope as many people as possible, including members of the public, will come along.’