Over the centuries Hereford Cathedral has been a place of learning and debate. Today, one of the ways we would like to continue in this tradition is through a sixth form conference. Our first conference was held in June 2012.

Sixty students from local schools and colleges came together to discuss the topic ‘Is War a Necessary Evil?’ and to hear speakers recount their own first hand experiences of war. The speakers were Major-General Arthur Denaro, Dr Khaled Sherlala and Mrs Melanie Davis, an army mum. After an ‘Any Questions’-style debate with the speakers, who were later joined by Group Captain Julian Andrews, the students themselves discussed issues of military intervention, nuclear and biological warfare, and conscription.

Nicholas Wardale, head of religious studies at John Kyrle High School, Ross on Wye, said: ‘This was a very well organised and inspirational conference. The quality of contributors was excellent and they provoked some really thoughtful and enthusiastic debate about the ethics of war that has left a lasting impression on our A-level RS students.’

Christopher Pullin, Canon Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral, said: ‘We were very impressed by the insightful and thoughtful contributions made by the students. We are keen to provide a forum in which young people can discuss important, contemporary issues, and we hope this conference will be the first of many.’

After the success of our first conference, we held another in June 2013, this time on the subject of euthanasia, and entitled ‘A Good Death?’ This conference was attended by the High Sheriff of Herefordshire, Mr Bob Tabor, and was equally successful. We now plan to make it an annual event. The next Sixth Form conference will be in on 26 June 2014. If you would like more information, please email: education@herefordcathedral.org.

As well as providing a forum for debate through our conference, we can offer a wealth of primary sources for study at A level and degree level through our library, archives and chained library. Additionally, we are always pleased to welcome students studying Interpretation or Leisure and Tourism who might like to study the cathedral as a heritage site and tourist attraction.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you arrange a study visit, please contact Sarah Arrowsmith, our education officer, on 01432 374256 or by email.

If you would like to find out more about what our Library and Archives can offer, please follow the link or click on the heading 'Library and Archives' in the left hand column.