British Red Cross to be official charity for Hereford Three Choirs Festival 2015

British Red Cross has been named as the official charity for the 300th anniversary Three Choirs Festival, taking place in Hereford 25 July – 1 August 2015. The charity will be the recipient of the offertory collection at the Opening Service for the festival in Hereford Cathedral on Saturday 25 August. The proceeds of bucket collections at selected concerts throughout festival week will be shared between British Red Cross and the Three Choirs Festival.

Charitable collections have been an important part of the festival since its earliest days. Thomas Bisse, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral, preached a sermon published under the title of  ‘A Rationale on Cathedral Worship or Choir Service’ at the ‘Anniversary Meeting of the Choirs of Worcester Gloster and Hereford, Sept. 7, 1720’; a few years later he suggested that the music meetings would be enhanced by charity collections for the assistance of clergy widows and orphans, along the lines of the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

British Red Cross has been chosen as the Festival Charity for 2015 in recognition of its humanitarian purpose, helping people in crisis in the UK and around the world. It is part of the global Red Cross and Red Cross humanitarian network, which helps millions of people around the world to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts. This can include initiatives as fundamental as running First Aid training so that more individuals are prepared to offer first response to illness and injuries, or supporting social care at home for people in crisis in their daily lives; offering practical and emotional support to asylum seekers and refugees; and helping individuals and communities to prepare for and withstand disasters, as well as responding to such disasters when they occur. More information about British Red Cross HERE

The present Dean of Hereford, the Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, and Clare Wichbold, Chairman of Hereford Three Choirs Festival, have chosen British Red Cross as the beneficiary of this year’s festival collections because of the strong link between its work and the principles of humanity and justice that lay behind Magna Carta, which celebrates its 800th anniversary this year. Hereford Cathedral holds arguably the most significant version of Magna Carta, dating from 2017, in its library, and is marking the anniversary with special exhibitions including a display of calligraphic banners in the nave of the cathedral illustrating some of those principles of freedom, justice, liberties and rights.

The Dean of Hereford adds:   ‘A charitable element has been at the heart of the Three Choirs Festival since its inception.  For much of the festival’s history, support was given on a local level, reflecting the local appeal of the festival but now, with an international element, it seems so right to direct our charitable giving more widely and I’m delighted that the British Red Cross is to be the festival recipient this year – the good that is done by the Red Cross is highly impressive and deserves our support’.