Diocesan News and Cathedral Events


Bishop of Hereford 

Anyone driving around the Counties of Hereford and Shropshire over the last couple of months cannot have failed to see in many different locations the black silhouettes of a lone soldier arrayed in the kit and uniform of the first world war infantry man commonly known as the Tommy. They are there because this year marks the centenary year ending the hostilities of the First World War. The words ‘Lest we forget’ have this stark visual reminder in addition to the more familiar poppy.

It is important to remember that the ending of that war was an Armistice. No one knows for sure of how many casualties there were but estimates of around sixteen million are regularly quoted. There were no winners or losers in the sense of the victorious and the vanquished. It was a mutual agreement to stop fighting and so on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month hostilities ceased.

For much of the twentieth century ‘Lest we forget’ had an obvious meaning in that for many the annual Remembrance Day had a personal link as it provided a way in which individuals could share publicly as the nation expressed its grief corporately. Certainly, after the first war the level of grief and family loss was extensive. Hardly a family in the land were untouched by loss. The Second World War was similar. Of course, we must not underestimate the way that grief still affects those who have lost loved ones in more recent conflicts or diminish the sacrifice they made.

However, as we enter the second decade of the twenty first century what does ‘Lest we forget’ mean now? George Santayana (1863-1952) wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” War may be unavoidable at times but it is always a failure. The lessons of war are surely to work for peace, justice and reconciliation and do all in our power to prevent it. As human beings we are capable of achieving great heights and sinking to abominable depths. Aggression and conflict remain realities. In our digital and cyber age it comes in many and various guises. It is a matter of history that narrow nationalism did not help the inexorable slide into the conflict a century ago. The right to self-determination should never be conflated with narrow self-interest. The pursuit of trust, truth and cooperation are as important now as ever. ‘Lest we forget’ surely needs to focus here as we look to the future.



Dean of Hereford

The ceremony of the Boy Bishop

Have you ever attend this traditional ceremony at our cathedral? It’s a medieval custom with much relevance today.

The tradition stems from a wish to model
the humility of Christ in those who hold
high office. By this, the cathedral choristers would elect one of their number to act as ‘Boy Bishop’ He would hold office from the Feast of St Nicholas (6 December) until Holy Innocents Day (28 December) and would undertake certain duties usually reserved to the bishop himself, thus reminding the bishop that he, like all, need to ‘become like children in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven’.

The tradition lapsed for centuries but was revived at Hereford in 1982. This year, it takes place on Sunday 9 December at 3.30pm, during Evensong and all are welcome.

What will happen?

The Boy Bishop, now appointed by the Precentor and Director of Music (and generally a ‘retired’ chorister’) will enter at the beginning of the service, accompanied by the other choristers and two attendants. He is dressed in full episcopal attire – with mitre, cope and ring. He is greeted by Bishop Richard, affirmed in his office and given the bishop’s crozier, or pastoral staff, to hold for much of the service. Then, accompanied by his attendants, he approaches the altar, and during the singing of the Magnificat, at the words ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat’, he ascends the Bishop’s Throne in the Quire of the Cathedral, while Bishop Richard, himself, will remain on the lower level! From the Bishop’s Throne, the Boy Bishop blesses the congregation.

Later, he comes to King Stephen’s chair at the Nave altar and there delivers a sermon, which he will have composed himself. All the sermons of past Boy Bishops (and I have heard 16 now!) have been excellent and each focuses on a particular aspect of the Christian faith, cathedral music and life. As you can imagine, it can be quite a challenge for a 12/13 year old to compose and deliver a sermon in front of his parents, relatives, friends and peers, not to mention the bishop and dean…!

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Boy Bishop returns the crozier, or pastoral staff
to Bishop Richard and assists the bishop in final prayers. He is then given a traditional offering (now a few Queen Victoria pennies!), representing the costs of his period of office and the costs of candles to be burned during the same period. The Boy Bishop officiates several times during the season of Advent – at the Cathedral School carol service and at the two cathedral carol services.

Is it an outmoded custom? I think not! It says such important things about the vital role children can play in teaching we adults about what is important in life, about the real need to humility in leaders.

And, mark my words, one day there will, rightly, be a ‘Girl Bishop’ and we look forward to that extension of the tradition in time!

So, do join us, and experience this special part of Hereford’s observance of Advent.

Sunday 9 December. 3.30pm. All welcome. No tickets required.

Michael Tavinor


Everyone is welcome to join any of the acts of worship that take place at the cathedral. Services are normally held at the following times:

Monday – Saturday

7.30am – Morning Prayer 8am – Holy Communion 5.30pm – Evensong(Evensong is normally sung by the cathedral choir every day during term time except Wednesdays)


8am – Holy Communion 10am – Cathedral Eucharist 11.30am – Matins
3.30pm – Evensong

Other Services

Wednesday 12.15pm – Holy Communion

Wednesday 1.05pm – Prayers for Peace

Friday 12noon – Prayers at the Shrine of St Ethelbert

Are you on Facebook? If yes, why not ‘like’ Hereford Diocese and keep up in a light hearted way with what goes on across the Diocese.

Are you a tweeter, part of the great Twitter Community? It’s a growing area for

Hereford Diocese. Keep up with us, get the latest news and information local, regional and national by following #hereforddiocese. It’s a fun way to keep in touch too.


Saturday 1 December, 1.15pm

Christmas Sparkle Concert

Sunday 2 December, 3.30pm

Advent Sunday Carol Service

Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm

A Service for Advent in London

Wednesday 5 December, 7.30 pm

Ex Cathedra – Christmas Music by Candlelight

Friday 7 December, 7pm

The Hereford Map (c. 1300): The World’s Place Between Human Vision and Divine Providence with Marcia Kupfer

Saturday 8 December, 7.30pm

Hereford Choral Society Concert: Handel’s Messiah

Tuesday 11 December, 7pm

Norwegian Experience – the Chancellor’s Sabbatical with Revd Canon Chris Pullin

Friday 14 – Monday 31 December

Crafting the Cathedral, HCA Art Exhibition

Saturday 15 December

Hereford Cathedral Christmas Fair, 9.30 am – 4 pm
Carols for Shoppers, 1 pm

Sunday 16 December, 5pm

St Michael’s Hospice ‘Light Up A Life’ Service

Thursday 20 December, 7pm

Army Benevolent Fund Carol Service

Saturday 22 December, 10 am – 12.30pm

Crypt Club Christmas Workshop

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 December, 7pm

Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

Monday 24 December, 3 pm

Christingle Nativity Service

Monday 24 December, 5.30pm

Choral Evensong

Tuesday 25 December

Christmas Day Worship

Friday 28 Dec, 3.30pm

Holy Innocents’ Day


Climb the 218 steps to the top of the cathedral tower to see stunning views of Hereford and the surrounding countryside. Tours usually take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11.30 am and 1.30 pm, tickets £5 for adults, £3 students and children 8-16 (not recommended for younger children) from the Cathedral Shop 01432 374210 or shop@herefordcathedral.org .

‘Cathedral Calling‘ is the online news magazine about church life in the diocese and the cathedral in particular.

Are you on Facebook? If yes, why not ‘like’ Hereford Diocese and keep up in a light

Cathedral Choir 

Do you know of a boy, aged 6–8 years of age, who might be interested in joining
the internationally-renowned Hereford Cathedral Choir? As well as singing in the cathedral, the choir regularly tours abroad, broadcasts on TV & radio, annual perform in London (Guards’ Chapel) and takes part in the world-famous Three Choirs Festival. 

It may be your son, or equally it may be a grandson, nephew or the son of friends – sometimes a gentle nudge of the parents might be needed! If a parent or guardian would like an informal discussion about the opportunities, Geraint Bowen, the 

director of music, would be delighted to hear from you (01432 374238, organist@ herefordcathedral.org or visit www. herefordcathedral.org). All choristers receive generous scholarships to the cathedral school and, in some cases, fully-funded places can be made available. 


The Wye Reaches Benefice