Tag Archives: Coventry

Advent Word 2019, Day 22 'Restore'

#AdventWord #Restore

“Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;” the Psalmist cries out three times, “show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” There are many sources of pain and suffering, but only one source of life and peace. Advent’s clarion call is to turn back and find oneself anew in the light of the face of God, restored to wholeness by the one whose return we await.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue (VTS ’00) is the bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.

The Gethsemane Chapel at Coventry Cathedral

Advent Word 2019, Day 21 'Rest'

#AdventWord #Rest

Rest is where the magic happens. True rest changes us at the cellular level. It is the space in which the body is strengthened and the soul restored. Catch your breath, let down your guard, rest and let God come especially close. Relieve yourself of the adrenaline rush and the accolades wrought of busyness so that Jesus can be born anew in you.

The Right Rev. Jennifer Baskerville Burrows is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.

Coventry Cathedral

Advent Word 2019, Day 17 'Pray'

#AdventWord #Pray

It is not easy to pray. The apostles knew that. That is why instead of a lesson on preaching, they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus replied, “When you pray, say ‘Our Father.’” Prayer is relationship. When we say, “let us pray,” we open ourselves to a deeper and intimate relationship with God. We also open our hearts to humanity so we may intercede for the world.

The Rev. Fred Vergara is the Missioner for Asiamerica Ministries for The Episcopal Church.

Following the bombing of the mediaeval Coventry Cathedral in 1940, Provost Howard had the words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the wall behind the Altar of the ruined building. Two charred roof-beams which had fallen in the shape of a cross were bound and placed at the site of the ruined altar.

The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation is prayed in the new Cathedral every weekday at noon (in the Ruins on Fridays), and is used throughout the world by the Community of the Cross of Nails:

‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father, forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father, forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father, forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father, forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father, forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
Father, forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father, forgive.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you’.

Advent Word 2019, Day 8 'Worthy'

#AdventWord #Worthy

Because often we do not value our own worth, we can’t imagine being worthy in the eyes of others. But in this season of Advent, the coming of Jesus casts those negative ideas aside. We are free to claim our worth as beloved children of God through God’s redemptive love and grace.

Dorothy Linthicum is a catechist for Baptized for Life and Forma Board member.

The Baptismal Font (carved in a large rock brought from the Holy Land) in front of the Baptistry Window (designed by John Piper) at Coventry Cathedral.

Advent Word 2019, Day 7 'Unity'

#AdventWord #Unity

In order to have unity, we must have reconciliation. As human beings, we must empty ourselves of all hatred and envy and be filled with love, blessing, and the grace of God. This can only happen when we open ourselves to God’s plan for us and for all humanity and become ambassadors for Christ, seeking to share the message of reconciliation.

The Right Rev. Suheil Dawani is the the 14th Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem.

‘Reconciliation’ by Josefina de Vasconcellos at Coventry Cathedral

Cathedrals and Cars: Beating the ‘Blue Monday’ Blues @ Coventry: UK City of Culture 2021!

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The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday – and is supposed to be the northern hemisphere’s most depressing day of the year due to ‘weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action’.  And certainly this past Monday, January 21, was very cloudy and dull.  And yes, it does feel like a long time since Christmas.  And so what better place to spend the day than in Coventry, the most central city in England, and famous for 2 things – its cathedral and its car factories.  Oh yes, and it’s also to be the next UK City of Culture in 2021!  And it also happened to be very near my old friend, Liz in Leamington Spa who had kindly invited me to stay the night on Monday night.  So – to Coventry I went, though not in one of these old Coventry-made cars. Though I wish!

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THE place in the city to start is at the old cathedral, which was destroyed in the Coventry Blitz on November 14, 1940.  The walls and the tower remain, and its definitely worth going up the tower, especially to look down on the remains of the old cathedral below…

From the Coventry Cathedral website:  “The majority of the great ruined churches and cathedrals of England are the outcome of the violence of the dissolution in 1539. The ruins of St Michael’s are the consequence of violence in our own time. On the night of 14 November 1940, the city of Coventry was devastated by bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe. The Cathedral burned with the city, having been hit by several incendiary devices.

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The decision to rebuild the cathedral was taken the morning after its destruction. Rebuilding would not be an act of defiance, but rather a sign of faith, trust and hope for the future of the world. It was the vision of the Provost at the time, Richard Howard, which led the people of Coventry away from feelings of bitterness and hatred. This has led to the cathedral’s Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, which has provided spiritual and practical support, in areas of conflict throughout the world.

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Shortly after the destruction, the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble with the moving words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall. Another cross was fashioned from three medieval nails by local priest, the Revd Arthur Wales. The Cross of Nails has become the symbol of Coventry’s ministry of reconciliation.

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Her Majesty the Queen laid the foundation stone on 23 March 1956 and the building was consecrated on 25 May 1962, in her presence. The ruins remain hallowed ground and together the two create one living Cathedral.

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The place we call ‘Coventry Cathedral’ is in fact two buildings that lie at the very heart of the city of Coventry. The Ruins of the ‘old Cathedral’ are the remains of a medieval parish church, consecrated to be the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Coventry in 1918. In a little over 20 years, this building would be destroyed by enemy air attack in the Second World War. Rather than sweeping away the ruins or rebuilding a replica of the former church, inspired by the message of Christ for reconciliation, the then leaders of the Cathedral Community took the courageous step to build a new Cathedral and preserve the remains of the old Cathedral as a moving reminder of the folly and waste of war. From that point, Coventry Cathedral became the inspiration for a ministry of peace and reconciliation that has reached out across the entire world.

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The ‘new’ Cathedral was itself an inspiration to many fine artists of the post-war era. The architect, Sir Basil Spence, commissioned work from Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Ralph Beyer, John Hutton, Jacob Epstein, Elisabeth Frink and others – most still to reach the peak of their artistic careers. In the ‘old Cathedral’ it is still possible to see (uniquely) at eye-level, sections of outstanding, hand painted glass by John Thornton (circa 1450). Thornton, born in Coventry, was recognised as a master glass painter of his time and went on to paint the windows of York Minster.”

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The architect, Basil Spence eventually retired to Yaxley, Suffolk and is buried in the churchyard of Thornham Parva, one of my CMS link churches – it’s more famous as being the church with the thatched roof, but does contain a small and humble grave for the man who designed this huge and glorious cathedral.

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The windows are amazing, especially the Baptistry Window…

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But there’s also plenty more to see, sculptures and art works and side chapels and all sorts of other meaningful things.  Go!

And after that, the only other place in Coventry you must see is the nearby Coventry Transport Museum, which is free too, and huge and full of old cars and bicycles, all shiny and beautiful and oozing with history.   It’s a great place to visit and oooh and aaah over all the classic cars!

So the best place to beat the Blue Monday Blues – or any Monday Blues come to that – even whether it’s a Monday or not – is Coventry.  You must go, and as it’s England’s most central city, it isn’t too far from anywhere.  Just requires a bit of time and energy.  A great place, really meaningful and with plenty to reflect upon and marvel at.  Just check it out!

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AND, take note, Coventry is to be the next UK City of Culture in 2021 ~ Congratulations Coventry ~ YES YES YES!