Saturday, 20 August 2022

Secret slips out early

ROGER COLE clearly knew something that the 200-plus guests at Monday’s mayor-making were unaware of.

As he led a prayer at the beginning of the ceremony before the vote had been taken, the pastor of Henley Baptist Church asked those gathered to “pray for the new Mayor and her family”.

The mayor-elect was Will Hamilton but after his Conservative colleague Lorraine Hillier abstained, Kellie Hinton of Henley Residents’ Group became Mayor.

Afterwards, Mr Cole revealed that he had been briefed before the ceremony by the outgoing Mayor Julian Brookes.

He said: “Everybody round that table knew this was going to happen. I was told by the Mayor himself that Kellie Hinton would be elected.

“It was not intended to come out like that, I did it spontaneously at the end. In my notes I had to just pray for the mayor or mayoress.”

Mr Cole said he was only asked to be chaplain at the ceremony on the previous day but he was happy to help.

“I was very pleased and honoured to step in for the other ministers and very intrigued that usually the most boring, irrelevant part of the proceedings caused such interest and intrigue,” he said.

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