It’s been an international week. Students from Worcester in Massachusetts, and Japan have visited the Parlour and been impressed with the Guildhall, a heritage site at the centre of our democracy, and also a working building. And in stormy conditions we raised the Commonwealth Flag and spoke on the Guildhall steps of the importance of those trans-national links.

In one day I went from a small parish church to a huge cavernous abbey without really straying in time, either from their foundation and build, or modern time. First a small, friendly civic service at St Peter’s Droitwich, home of the Winslow Boy, and his brothers, who sailed on the Mayflower. Fascinating not least because we have their baptism registers in The Hive. Then Tewkesbury Abbey, a splendid creation, built for thousands of pilgrims and now, with shrinking worshippers, even more grand and impressive to look at. Well worth a visit to the edge of our county, once in the Worcester Diocese.

We hosted a thank-you event for volunteers who come from all sorts of organisations, including my chosen charities, OnSide and Severn Arts. I have written before about the impressive network of community volunteers, including parents and carers, who keep our city going. From the Mela to the Battle of Worcester; from care and health to litter picks and the Swan Sanctuary. Park runs, carnival, allotments, museums, police cadets – all adding life and value.

Some are thriving, others in need of support. Volunteering can be helping others, but also about helping yourself and is enriching, healthy and fun.

Finally, huge thanks to the generosity of former players at the Worcester RFC. We had a great lunch, met old friends, had an occasionally funny speech, were urged to test for prostate cancer, and raised a lot of cash for my Mayoral Charities. Cheers!

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