As an historic city with a charter going back to Richard the Lionheart in 1189, Hereford has a rich tradition of civic ceremonies. Here are some examples.
Mayor-making takes place in May each year and is held in the Council Chamber with the outgoing Mayor handing over their office to their elected replacement. Becoming the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Hereford is a very important occasion and often family and friends of the Mayor-elect have come from all over the world to see the Mayor being “made”. The process involves taking an oath to serve the city and its people, and becoming the Chairman of the City Council for their year in office.
Remembrance Day takes place on the nearest Sunday to the 11th of November and is a huge occasion with the Mayor leading the city in remembering those whose sacrifice means so much to so many. The first wreath is laid by the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire (or a Deputy Lieutenant) who represents the Queen and the next wreath is laid by the Mayor. A ceremony also takes place on Armistice Day to commemorate the moment in 1918 at 11 am when the guns fell silent after four years of the Great War.
In April, the Mayor leads the Council to St Peter’s Church, traditionally the Council’s parish church, for a service of thanksgiving. This service has its origin in the Middle Ages when thanks were given for preserving the City from plague and war. Now it’s an occasion to celebrate another year in the life of the city, to thank voluntary organisations for their contribution and for the Mayor’s chosen charities to thank the Mayor for their support.
Other civic ceremonies arise from time to time including the homecoming parade for the 3rd Battalion of the Rifles Regiment following their tour of duty of Afghanistan in 2010.
The Freedom of the City is given to an individual or organisation for their outstanding contribution to the city and is the highest honour which the city can bestow. The Mayor leads these ceremonies on behalf of Hereford and its people. The Rifles Regiment, 18 Signals Regiment, Royal Air Force and the Special Air Service all hold the Freedom of Hereford among their many other honours. The Mayor can also honour citizens privately with letters of commendation.
In recent times, the Mayor has attended the funerals of soldiers from Hereford who have sadly been killed in action whilst serving in the armed forces. The Mayor will also attend at the request of families if the funeral is held outside of Hereford.
The Mayor also opens and attends some fun occasions in the city including the Christmas Lights Switch-on, the Opening of the Mayfair and the very popular Historic Hereford Day which takes place in July.
Details of major civic events are advertised in the local press and in the news and events section of this website.