IT was a great pleasure to get back to Salisbury just in time to join the congregation of St Francis for the service to welcome the Rev Jean de Garis, who has returned to Salisbury after serving in parishes in Dorset.

My parliamentary colleague from that part of the world assures me that both the parish and Salisbury’s wider church community will be greatly blessed to have a leader with such a special pastoral gift.

On Saturday, I was pleased to attend the installation of the 759th Mayor, Councillor John Walsh, as well as the evening fundraiser for his chosen charity, South Wilts Mencap.

I would like to join him in thanking the outgoing Mayor Councillor Mike Osment and his mayoress Nikki Savage for their enormous efforts in attending 220 engagements during the year and raising a superb £20,000 for their charities.

It requires considerable energy and commitment to maintain normal professional and family life alongside that number of mayoral duties and they have done a great job.

This week in Westminster started bright and early for me with a speech at The Guildhall in London to launch City Week.

I am also responding to two Westminster Hall debates, both of which require considerable preparation alongside the usual work ahead of Treasury Questions, which seem to come around on an ever more regular basis.

As we count down to the launch of Salisbury International Arts Festival, I wish all the organisers, volunteers and participants a huge success and I look forward to catching a few events over the coming weeks.

At the end of the week, I have been asked to speak at a school prizegiving. With half term on the horizon, I am very conscious that GCSE and A-level students are working exceptionally hard and I wish them well at this inevitably stressful time of year.