A special celebration marking the tenth anniversary of Citizenship ceremonies took place yesterday (Wednesday July 9th) at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.
Citizenship ceremonies have been an undoubted success over the past decade, designed to celebrate and welcome new citizens who have successfully applied for British Citizenship.
West Sussex has welcomed almost 10,000 new citizens into the county who were born in a variety of countries ranging from Australia, China, India, Somalia and the United States.
All aspiring Citizens must complete a life in the UK test which features questions about British History, traditions and customs, as well as knowledge of the English language.
Citizens are required to meet a five-year period of residency, as well as being of sound mind, good character and wish to continue living in the UK.
All successful new applicants over 18 are required to attend a ceremony within 3 months of their application being successful, if they are living in the UK at the time, where they receive their Citizenship Certificate.
Lord-Lieutenant Susan Pyper said: “Whenever I have attended a Citizenship Ceremony over the past 10 years I am always struck by the significance of the occasion for those attending, particularly with their families.
“For many it is the end of a journey, sometimes an extremely painful one, and a new beginning, in a new country. To have welcomed so many to our county of West Sussex is indeed a cause for celebration.”
27 new Citizens and their friends and families were welcomed by Nigel Peters, the Vice Chairman of West Sussex County Council, and delegates from the Lieutenancy including the Deputy Lieutenant Margaret Johnson, who officiated at the first West Sussex Citizenship ceremony in 2004.