On Sunday 2 October, Hereford Cathedral celebrated the feast of its own saint Thomas Cantilupe, St Thomas of Hereford.

St Thomas was Bishop of Hereford from 1275 to 1282, and after his death a remarkable series of healing miracles occurred at his tomb. He was canonised in 1320 and, amazingly, his shrine survived the destruction of the Reformation. Several of his relics survived and one, a small particle of bone is permanently displayed within the restored shrine. At the moment, the cathedral is also guardian of a much larger relic, normally cared for by Stonyhurst College. The relic is the tibia of St Thomas and it is encased in a beautiful brass and glass reliquary by the 19th-century Birmingham metalworker John Hardman. It remained in the shrine throughout the day on 2 October. Knowing that there are Anglican sensitivities regarding the use of relics in the church today, the Dean preached this sermon.

The photograph at the head of the page shows the relic normally in the shrine (beneath the glass dome) and the Hardman reliquary beside.

The feast ended with a visit from the monks of Belmont Abbey, who sang Vespers in the cathedral and, at the end of the service, processed to the shrine of St Thomas.