Saturday, August 11, 2018

Coventry Cathedral

Our visit to Coventry was very moving. We have heard over the years about the Anglican Church that was destroyed during World War II and later a new, grand cathedral was built to express the faith and strength of the English people.

In 1940, during the early months of the blitz, Coventry was rained with fire bombs from German planes. When the fires were finally out, a partial shell of the cathedral was all that was left. The windows and pews had turned to ashes. In the cleanup, a workman found two beams that had fallen in the form of a cross. He raised the cross to inspire hope in the people of the town. Today that cross is displayed in the new Coventry Cathedral.

The new cathedral was built right next to the burned out church. The contrast is quite stunning. The stained glass is beautiful. Behind the high altar is a tapestry of the newly-risen Christ. There are a number of side chapels. In one, the Chapel of Jesus in the Garden of Gethseame , the rood screen evokes the cross of thorns There we gathered for a service of Holy Eucharist.

The organ in the new cathedral was built in Norway. It must sound amazing. The window at the back of this church has shadowing images of people in the glass window.

The theme of a Phoenix rising from the ashes is repeated in many place. We had lunch in the Rising From the Ashes café. As we explored the burned-out church, we saw a group of young adults sharing and learning in one of the old chapels.

The bell tower of the original church has been restored and it is possible to climb the inside stairs to the top. We didn’t.

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