Sunday 8 December 2013 will see former Hereford Cathedral chorister Orlando Timmerman enthroned as Boy Bishop in the historic Ceremony of the Boy Bishop at the cathedral.
The ceremony, mediaeval in origin, recognises the importance of revelry and celebration in fighting off the cold and dark of mid-winter and was originally devised with fun-loving choristers in mind. Its climax comes when the chosen boy replaces the Bishop of the diocese on the throne, going on to lead the prayers and preach a sermon written himself.
As part of the famous Twelve Days of Christmas, this ceremony has always been surrounded by fun but now equally reminds the congregation of the importance of humility and encourages them to adopt new perspectives.
Orlando, 15, and a pupil at Hereford Cathedral School, joined the cathedral choir at the age of eight in 2007 and subsequently sang over a thousand services with the choir. Whilst a chorister, he also took part in several radio broadcasts and two CD recordings, and toured the USA and South Africa with the choir. He sang in several Three Choirs Festivals and always particularly enjoyed singing in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Walton’s The Twelve and the Miserere by Allegri. Since leaving the choir about eighteen months ago he has spent more time rowing, and has taken up the French horn. He sings in various choirs at school as well as in his local church choir.
Geraint Bowen, organist and director of music at the cathedral said: ‘Orlando was a splendid chorister and he is an ideal choice for Boy Bishop, and I shall look forward with interest to hearing what he has to say in his sermon’.
On his appointment as Hereford Boy Bishop, Orlando said ‘I believe that the Boy Bishop is a great tradition, and I look forward to fulfilling my duties.’
The Ceremony of the Boy Bishop takes place at Evensong at Hereford Cathedral on Sunday 8 December.