40 Years of Photography at Hereford Cathedral

24th April 2024

It’s been a labour of love spanning four decades for Hereford Cathedral’s volunteer photographer, Gordon Taylor MBE LRPS whose work will feature in a special exhibition this May.

Volunteer photographer showcases forty years of people and memories at Hereford Cathedral

It was a photograph of Hereford Cathedral in the snow submitted to the Friends of Hereford Cathedral in the early 1980s that caught the eye of the then Dean, Peter Haynes.

The Friends used it as their 1983 Christmas card and it proved so popular that a second print run was needed.

Volunteer photographer showcases forty years of  people and memories at Hereford Cathedral

In 1984 the Dean approached Gordon to ask for his assistance in creating a photographic record for an upcoming repair project. Whilst juggling his work as the Head Biomedical Scientist at the Department of Pathology and Public Health in Hereford, Gordon used his lunch breaks, Saturdays and lighter evenings to produce over 1,000 photographs and transparencies.

It was the start of a four-decade-long project to create a rich and extensive photographic history of Hereford Cathedral, its people, its worship, its mission and its ministry.

Forty years on, Gordon remains an integral part of the community as a voluntary photographer, and works with the Library and Archives team, cataloguing the photographic archive. Over the years, Gordon has captured significant events such as royal visits, major county services and large-scale development projects. But he has also spent time photographing the Cathedral gardens as they change through the seasons, laughter and smiles at community get-togethers and every hidden nook and cranny of the building.

The Very Reverend Sarah Brown, Dean of Hereford, said:

“Gordon has been and continues to be one of the constants of the cathedral community. 

“His kindness, commitment to his work and knowledge of the building shine through every photograph as he puts people at ease with his discretion, humour and gentle direction. 

“His work is a gift to the community and to all who are interested in this special place. 

“We hope this exhibition gives you pause to reflect on the last four decades of events, people and memories of Hereford Cathedral which bring us together through times of celebration, sadness and love.”

Gordon said:

“It has been a privilege to spend these years documenting so many aspects of Hereford Cathedral and its life and I hope the exhibition will enable visitors to catch a glimpse of my own unique experience.”

Cathedral in Focus: 1984 – 2024 opens Saturday 11 May until Thursday 30 May during normal cathedral opening hours and is free to visit.