Sir Roy Strong donates black vestments to Hereford Cathedral

Writer, gardener and historian Sir Roy Strong has donated a new set of vestments to Hereford Cathedral.

The beautiful black vestments were made by Croft Design and will be worn for the first time in a service to remember departed loved ones on All Souls Day on November 2.

During the service, the cathedral choir will sing Gabriel Fauré's masterpiece, Requiem and members of the congregation will be invited to light a candle in remembrance.

Sir Roy said: “My wife, Julia Trevelyan Oman, died eight years on 10 October and this is always a difficult period of the year for me. I have noticed the growing popularity of the annual All Souls service when those who wish to give thanks and mourn for loved ones corporately gather together in remembrance and celebration.”

The Dean of Hereford, the Very Rev Michael Tavinor welcomed the new gift.

He said: "Often these days, black is used less in services of remembrance as it is felt to be too solemn.

"Sometimes it’s more appropriate to use the colour white for such services, when there is an emphasis on the joy of resurrection.

"I think there is still very much a place for the reflection on our own mortality, which the colour black encourages."

The vestments will also be used on Remembrance Sunday on November 13 for the 10.00am Requiem, when the music of Duruflé will be sung.