Greetings from Coventry, England! We left York early this morning and drove 3 hours south, arriving in the city of Coventry at noon. We popped into the choir room at the cathedral, warmed up for 10 minutes, donned our robes, and sang a half hour concert in the modern Cathedral Church of St. Michael. The story and history of this town and its cathedral is fascinating.
The original cathedral, dating back 1,000 years, was destroyed by German bombs in an air raid during World War II in November 1940. The morning after the town and the cathedral were decimated, the decision was made immediatley to build a new cathedral, quite controversial at the time. The cornerstone was laid by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 and she returned for the consecration in 1962. The new cathedral is built and attached to the ruins of the old cathedral, of which the tower and walls still stand.
The site is truly sacred and holy space. The shell of the old cathedral is a reminder of the devastation and horror produced by WWII, and throughout both the old and new structures, offerings of art and sculpture from the Germans and Japanese make real the promise of reconciliation and peace. The morning after the bombing, the Dean of Coventry Cathedral wrote in the charred remains, "Father Forgive" and these words remain etched in the old cathedral as a reminder of the forgiveness offered to us all, friend and enemy alike.
The Choir's concert was superb, even more so because the Assistant Director of Music for the Cathedral attended our performance and was so very, very complimentary about our singing. Bravo, Choir!! An added bonus was the addition of David and Jani Holyan, our pastor and his wife, in the audience. David is doing his doctoral study in Cambridge this week and they took an afternoon to travel north and hear their choir. Thank you for joining us, David and Jani!
We are staying the next two evenings in the most quaint and charming English Inn. We love it! Tomorrow will be a relaxed day visiting Stratford-upon-Avon. Scroll down for new photos.
Peace be with you,