2nd Form trip to Coventry Cathedral
As part of the Religious Studies curriculum the 2nd Form visited Coventry Cathedral on 18th March. This interesting and vibrant place helped the pupils learn more about the nature and significance of a place of worship. 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, however, 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. 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.
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. 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 Cathedral.
In conjunction with the Art department, during the day the pupils were encouraged to take as many pictures of the building as possible so that they can enter a photographic competition that is being run. Students have been asked to submit their best three pictures on the following themes: “awe and wonder”, “…it made me think” and “a sacred place” (including this entry from Lauren Hayton). Prizes will be awarded in each category for a winner and a runner-up.