The registrars at Wokingham Borough Council have the honour of guiding residents through key events in their lives, not just registering births and deaths and conducting weddings, but also welcoming new British Citizens.
And every month, Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser joins the special celebration ceremony conducted by the borough’s registrars to welcome the new citizens to the Wokingham Borough and the UK.
All applicants aged 18 years or over who are accepted by the Home Office for citizenship by naturalisation or registration must take a citizenship oath of allegiance and pledge of loyalty at a citizenship ceremony before they can finally become a British Citizen.
Every month people from all over the world come together for the citizenship ceremony and meet local dignitaries at either Wokingham Town Hall or the borough council’s civic offices. The ceremony is conducted by the superintendent registrar. During the ceremony speeches are made by local dignitaries and each new citizen is invited to stand and make their individual oath of allegiance before joining in with the pledge of loyalty. They receive their citizenship certificates from the Lord Lieutenant (or one of his deputies) and a gift from the Borough Mayor.
Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser said: “Many of the people that attend the citizenship ceremonies have lived in this country for many years while others have arrived more recently. The ceremony is the final step in the process of becoming a British Citizen and it’s a very special occasion for them.
“Many people, including our new British Citizens, want to come and live in our Borough as it’s such a great place to live, work and bring up a family. We have great schools, a healthy population, with high employment and low levels of deprivation. And, we’re very proud that our Borough consistently ranks in the top places to live in the country.
“The Wokingham Borough is made up of 17 towns and parishes and we celebrate its wide diversity. The new citizens bring with them skills, talents and their own particular cultural history which broadens, enriches and enhances our communities, and I am delighted they have chosen to live here.”
In February’s ceremony, 25 people from the Wokingham Borough became British Citizens.