Sussex’s great and good share their hopes for 2017

PUBLISHED: 09:44 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:21 03 January 2017

The Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, bishop of Chichester

The Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, bishop of Chichester


With Brexit, the Trump presidency and many celebrity deaths 2016 has been eventful to say the least. Sussex Life asked the county’s great and good to share their hopes for the year to come

The Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

“When Article 50 is finally triggered, 2017 promises to be a year of negotiation. Britain’s place in the world is being revised and redrawn as the ramifications of the historic Brexit vote continue to unravel. My heartfelt hope and prayer is that the people and communities of Sussex will engage fully in the discussions that will take place through our many local elected representatives.

“2017 will inevitably be a year of new opportunities and the start of many new beginnings. We must also ensure that those who feel marginalised or unwelcome are given reassurance and support and that we continue to celebrate the tradition of decent hospitality for which Sussex is so well known.” 

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

“After a challenging 2016 I’m hoping for things to get better next year. In the wake of the EU referendum we need to see the deep divisions in this country begin to heal, and our communities come back together. Brighton and Hove’s positive spirit gives me hope even in the darkest of times and I have no doubt that next year our city will continue to be a wonderful place to live.”

Rachel Tackley, executive director, Chichester Festival Theatre

“Having joined Chichester Festival Theatre in September, I’m relishing exploring everything this wonderful city and county has to offer.

“I hope 2017 brings a continuation of the warm embrace extended to me and artistic director, Daniel Evans, by our generous donors, corporate partners and audiences. I look forward to welcoming the extraordinary actors, directors and writers who will be part of our first Festival season; introducing them to our audiences will be hugely exciting. I also hope that in 2017 our world-renowned creative and cultural industries continue to be a force for unity and collaboration and their economic contribution receives its rightful recognition.”

Alfriston author and historian Juliet Nicolson

“One hundred years ago, the year my father was born, the dominant global hope was for peace. A century later I continue to share that hope, if not for my own generation, at least for that of my children and grandchildren. I hope to feel trust in politicians once again rather than suspicion. I hope flying in aeroplanes will soon become a treat rather than an endurance. I hope for a cure for the elm disease that is decimating our glorious Sussex landscape. I hope always to be fast asleep when Father Christmas arrives. It’s good to leave magic unchallenged.”

Alfriston author and historian Juliet Nicolson. A House Full of Daughters, her memoir across seven generations of her family, will be published by Vintage in paperback £9.99 on 23 February 2017

Nus Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden

“From Brexit to a new Prime Minister, from the appalling murder of one of my colleagues to shock at the American election, 2016 has been a tumultuous year. I look forward to welcoming a new year, defined by respect towards one another. I particularly want to see us make greater progress on making social media a kinder place, and destroying the taboo surrounding mental illness, continuing work I have begun this year. As TS Eliot said, ‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.’”

Kate Tempest, guest artistic director for the 2017 Brighton Festival

“The place that art has in a community is something I am constantly turning around in my mind because I think it is one of the most important tools we have for connectivity, for cultivating empathy and a sense of community – it’s a kind of antidote to isolation. For me gathering together to experience artwork is the most important thing that we can do. The most exhilarating moments that have brought me closest to myself and closest to my fellow human beings have been through gathering and watching and feeling and participating in works of art. So, when I was approached by Brighton Festival, the first thing that made me excited about accepting the offer was the possibility of bringing work to people who maybe feel that kind of experience doesn’t belong to them, opening the doors a little bit and just allowing people in. I’m very excited about trying to encourage the artists that I want to perform here to just run with this idea of being a part of Brighton for three weeks. And not just Brighton, but also the outlying communities and the neighbourhoods around Brighton – I want to take work outside of the centre of the town and just bring it to people.”

Sussex Life hadn’t received any copy from the Labour Party at the time this feature went to press.

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