On Friday 8 May 2020, we would have been gathering with our friends and colleagues across the county to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day in a special service within the cathedral. As with so many services and events this year, the occasion is not to be as we planned but we would like to support our community in being able to worship from home.

The Precentor has been prepared a service for use at home on Friday which can be downloaded from our website. Alongside the text of the service, you will see that there are instructions to ‘Click here…’ in blue italics. Clicking on these will open up a recording of the pieces of music so that you can hear the cathedral choir sing or join in with hymns.

Click here to download the Order of Service

On Friday evening at 6pm, Hereford Diocese will be sharing a service across their social media channels and their website for you to watch from home. Bishop Richard will be leading this act of worship and the Precentor will be leading prayers.

Click here to visit the Diocese website

This week’s Sunday Worship, (BBC One, 10.45 am) a service for VE Day, will be led by the bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin from Hereford Cathedral. The service was filmed before the closure of all church buildings. The Chancellor and Bridget Swan will read and prayers will be led by the Precentor.

Click here to find out more about Sunday Worship

The Church of England have also uploaded some resources to their website, including a pdf copy of the VE Day 1945 Order of Service which took place in Westminster Abbey!

Click here to visit the CofE VE Day page

The Royal British Legion have organised many ways to mark the day from home including a two-minute silence at 11 am and a UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again' at 9 pm.

Click here to visit the RBL VE Day page

And finally, before lockdown our archivist Elizabeth uncovered these articles from the Hereford Times which reported on the VE Day celebrations, 75 years ago.

Hereford Times 12th May 1945

VE Day reports: Hereford Goes Gay

“During the afternoon the Cathedral and other bells rang merry peals, lending valuable aid to the creation of a spirit of cheerfulness throughout the city.”

“Groups of people made their way to the Cathedral to see the West End being floodlit by the Hereford Corporation Gas Department.  The ancient pile of the Cathedral was bathed in mellow light – something well worth seeing.  Round about the city outskirts there were other lights coming from bonfires lit by bands of merry makers.”

“Incidentally, it is interesting to note that in connection with floodlighting the Catehdral the Corporation Gas Department used 26 projector and upward beam lamps of a total strength of 6,000 candle-power, consuming about 1,000 cubic feet of gas an hour.  The Department propose to floodlight the whole of the Cathedral on the cessation of hostilities in the Far East.  In the High Town on the central column they had a “V” sign illuminated by high pressure gas.”