The team at Hereford Cathedral are celebrating after an incredible, two-night run of the Hereford Passion Play.

Following an audition call put out in November, the cast of the Hereford Passion was formed by members of the local community, ranging from experienced performers and retired teachers to serving members of the clergy from across Hereford Diocese. 

The Hereford Passion 2024 © Caroline Potter, Hereford Cathedral

The production was directed by the Reverend Canon James Pacey who became the Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral in June 2023. Prior to joining the team at Hereford, James worked as a Hospital Chaplain at Nottingham University Hospitals and, before ordination, was a theatre director. James has previously directed five other Passion Plays in other locations including Newark, Cambridge, Nottingham and in the cathedral church of Southwell Minster.

The Hereford Passion 2024 © Caroline Potter, Hereford Cathedral

On Friday 8 & Saturday 9 March over nine hundred people watched the sold-out performances. Under Canon James’ direction, a powerful depiction of the Passion shared the story of Jesus’ final days, using words, music and action against the stunning architecture of the cathedral nave. The production was kindly supported by the Friends of Hereford Cathedral and the Passion Trust.

The Revd Canon Chancellor James Pacey said, “I was absolutely delighted with The Hereford Passion and remain deeply grateful to, and in admiration of, the talented cast and crew who worked so hard to make it a reality. The whole experience was deeply moving for all those involved, both company and audience, with nearly 900 people coming to see this astonishing story over two nights. It is my hope and prayer that flames of faith will have been kindled as a result. As for whether there will be more Christian Theatre coming from Hereford Cathedral? Watch this space!”

The Very Revd Sarah Brown, Dean of Hereford, said, “I am always excited to see a full cathedral, but it is particularly powerful to see a full cathedral for a piece of drama that unashamedly and poignantly shows what God has done out of love for every single human being - including those who actively work against him or reject him. It is a stark reminder that whatever our failings, - rather horribly but brilliantly made clear in this drama, God’s message of forgiveness, redemption and hope still resounds across the world. This is what love looks like.

I hope and pray that all who came to see The Hereford Passion will find ways to engage with the rest of the story through local churches or other events and services here at the cathedral over Easter. This is just the beginning of what we plan to do to bring the gospel afresh to those who have not heard it. I’m excited.”

The Hereford Passion 2024 © Caroline Potter, Hereford Cathedral

As a follow-on from The Hereford Passion, the Revd Canon James Pacey and the Revd Andy Morgan of St Peter’s and St James’ are hosting The Last Cuppa, three relaxed and informal evenings for people to further explore faith or ask questions. These sessions will take place in the Lounge of The Courtyard on Wednesday 20 and 27 March at 7.30pm. 

To find out more about services and events taking place at Hereford Cathedral during Lent, Holy Week and Easter please click here

Banner Image: Sam Morrish plays the role of Jesus in The Hereford Passion © Caroline Potter, Hereford Cathedral