See the message to CCN partners from Dean John, which accompanies this news update, here

This is such a very uncertain time for everyone across the CCN.

Here at Coventry, in our immediate team the saddest manifestation of the Covid-19 pandemic was the departure back to Germany of our wonderful intern Hanna-Lotta, along with all the other interns across the UK from ARSP, her volunteer placement agency. Our sole intern for just over half of her planned year with us, we all absolutely loved working with her, and she brought so much joy and enthusiasm and creative energy and ideas to our work, across the cathedral. Read her Thought for the Week this week – I know all of us at the Cathedral share the sadness in losing her, but understand she is where she is safest, back home with her family in Bonn. So our team is much depleted at the moment, but we look forward to Josefine joining us in September all being well, and possibly a local intern from within Coventry Diocese too.

We have also very sadly not been able to run our May pilgrimage this year, which should have been happening this weekend, with several groups, from Hamburg, Berlin, Saarbrücken and Canada. Pilgrimages are a core part of sharing our story with new partners and other contacts, and a way of physically bringing people together, too. We know this is a temporary halt to our ministry in this, but we so look forward to having people back with us again! Provisionally, the dates for next year’s spring pilgrimages, the first being a replacement for this May’s, are March 26-28th and May 7-9th. Meantime we hope our October 2020 pilgrimage can still go ahead on October 14-16th. Keep up with news on these at our pilgrimage page.

However, much great stuff is also continuing, in a different way, or starting afresh!:

  • January and February saw us warmly welcome three major new partners joining the CCN: Southwark Cathedral, Bergen Cathedral Community (pictured below), and the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels. Two others in April and May, the St.-Johannis-Kirche Plauen and St Bartholomæi, Demmin, both in Germany, have sadly needed to be postponed due to the pandemic, but we hope to welcome them into the CCN next year.
  • Our CCN International Reps met at Coventry – read about this here.
  • Since mid-March our German partners have been releasing weekly a short video service based around the Litany, as are our Dutch partners – all can be found on our Facebook page and some on our resources page. If you have ever wondered what the litany sounds like in another language, do give them a listen, and join in at home!
  • You can also access on the same resources page our latest ICONS (International Cross of Nails Schools) newsletters, the latest one being April’s, and previous CCN newsletter.
  • The Litany is being streamed live daily from Coventry at midday throughout the Cathedral’s closure, and also our German partners are praying the litany together via Zoom each Friday at midday – a new and incredibly powerful way to remember our core mission.
  • The second Cross of Nails Sunday, to celebrate and virtually connect the CCN partners wherever they are on one day around the globe, is still happening this year also. This will be on Sunday 27th September this year, and we will have resources available for this online in early July. A second important date this year for your diaries is 14th November 2020, the 80th anniversary of Coventry Cathedral’s bombing. We recognise that travel restrictions may well still be in force then, although hopefully only partially, but we hope very much that at least those CCN partners more locally will feel able to come to Coventry on the day, and take part in a number of things being planned up to mark the day – do save the date.
  • Meanwhile, you can access reflections, prayers and support during the Covid-19 pandemic via our partners Reconcilers Together , and join one or all of the Difference webinars taking place throughout May (or simply view them later) via the Reconciling Leaders’ Network.

And something for when we are through the worst of the Coronavirus, and back in our churches and cathedrals, and looking to next year:

  • For Coventry’s City of Culture year in 2021, we’re seeking current pictures of as many our CCN partner communities as possible. Bring your Crosses of Nails back out into the world, once pandemic restrictions lift, and take a photo of each Cross, with as many people from your community as can be mustered around it! Send it in (with your organisation’s name!) to alice.farnhill@coventrycathedral.org.uk throughout the summer and autumn of this year, and we will then work them into a collage artwork for the start of Coventry’s City of Culture in 2021.

Thank you for all that you do and represent as CCN partners, and please stay safe while we all work through the later stages of this worldwide situation. We continue to hold you all in our prayers in Coventry.

Alice Farnhill, CCN Project Officer

Bergen Cathedral Community joined the CCN in February, with members from their own close partner Southwark Cathedral also present.
CCN May Project Officer news update
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