Coventry Cathedral is one of the world’s oldest religious-based centres for reconciliation. Following the destruction of the Cathedral in 1940, Provost Howard made a commitment not to revenge, but to forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.
The ruined shell of the medieval Cathedral has become a spiritual home for many, reminding us of our human capacity both to destroy and to reach out to our enemies in friendship and reconciliation. The ruins speak so powerfully of this message that they have become a place of pilgrimage for people of all cultures and faiths. As well as providing a tranquil space for reflection, they are the City’s most important landmark and symbolic of its own destruction and resurrection.
The Cathedral leadership team is seeking to designate them as a memorial to all civilians killed, injured or traumatised by war and violent conflict worldwide. Their plan is to use a combination of art, educational material, prayer and worship to explore the impact of conflict on our world today and challenge the prevailing culture of war. Their wish is for this to be a place of pilgrimage where people of all faiths and nationalities can come to remember their own personal loss or that of their community. Through commemoration, conservation and conversation, the ruins will provide a constant reminder of the continuing suffering of civilians around the world, and serve as a call to action as we seek to bring about the “more Christ-child-like world” that Provost Howard spoke of.