The ruins of the 14th century Coventry Cathedral are the aftermath of violence in our own time. On the night of 14 November 1940, the city of Coventry was destroyed by bombs dropped by the German Luftwaffe. The Cathedral burned with the city, having been hit by several combustible devices.
Preliminary reports suggest the number of casualties is about 1,000. The rigorous anti-aircraft fire kept the raiders at a great height from which precise bombing was not possible. Reports say 4,330 homes were ruined and three-quarters of the city’s factories damaged.
The resolution to reconstruct the cathedral was taken the morning after its devastation. 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.
Coventry is very special to me since it’s where my husband comes from. His father was just 5 years old when it was bombed and he still remembered it. He remembered the bombing, where they had to go to the bunkers every time they hear the alarm. He still has a collection of shrapnel and he had to play amidst the rubble with his friends. Life went on in spite of the bombing.
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