It has been the luck of this year’s High Sheriff to hold office when the Three Choirs Festival, which cycles around Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals, is hosted in Hereford. The opening service launched a magnificent festival with a procession of Lord Lieutenants, High Sheriffs, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, Canons and various guests from the Bishop’s Palace and a Civic procession of Mayors and Aldermen and guests from the Town Hall. All were splendidly arrayed in one way or another. There followed a sung evensong. The service celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage to the Westminster Parliament as well as the rather more recent admittance of women to the Church of England priesthood. The Bishop of Llandaff. The Right Reverend June Osborne, gave a hard hitting sermon on the equal treatment of women in society which celebrated where we have reached compared to the past but deplored how long it has taken and how much further there is to go.
The festival is a programme of top class music some of which, though not all, has a flavour of the choral tradition of the Church. The 2018 festival runs from 28th July to 4th August and a link to the programme can be found here. For most people reading this, it will be in the past so they should look forward to the 2019 festival in Gloucester. The programme is developing and this can be followed here.