The Reconciliation Ministry Team at Coventry Cathedral offers a variety of workshop opportunities for engaging in deeper discussions about reconciliation.
If you would like more information on a workshop or your group is interested in taking one of our workshops during your visit to Coventry Cathedral, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 024 7652 1288.
“Father Forgive”: The Gospel Challenge
Carved into the wall behind the altar in the Cathedral ruins, “Father Forgive” has become a challenge to everyone who explores Coventry as a pilgrim. Using a national radio broadcast from the ruins on Christmas Day 1940, Provost Howard declared that when the war was over he would work with those who had been enemies “to build a kinder, more Christ-child-like world.” He saw his call to challenge the community to forgiveness as a gospel mandate, but it proved to be a test in the midst of anger, deep hurt, and hatred of the ‘other’. Forgiveness is a tricky part of the reconciliation journey. This workshop explores our Christian responsibility to forgiveness through teaching, group discussion, and personal reflection.
Circle Process: Learning to Disagree Well
“Agree to disagree” is a clichéd statement often used when conflicted situations come to an impasse. The more we use these words, the easier it becomes to disengage with people who are different from us. We lose opportunities to grow in authentic community and celebrate diversity when we fail to be in relationship with those that we treat as ‘other’. The circle process is a way of engaging in difficult conversations with those whom we disagree. It gives space for every voice through guided facilitation, creativity, open questions, and reflection. Every participant has the privilege of sharing their own voice as well as the gift of hearing the story of others. Groups are invited to learn the circle process as a means of having intentional dialogue in their own communities – or they can explore a particular topic with the Reconciliation Ministry Team.
The Reconciliation Debate
Justice. Truth. Forgiveness. Peace. What is required in the reconciliation process? Is one component more important than the other? Where should an individual or community begin the reconciliation journey? Conflict transformation practitioner John Paul Lederach argues that justice, truth, forgiveness (mercy), and peace all play a fundamental role in reconciliation practice. This interactive workshop uses debate to explore whether justice, peace, forgiveness, or truth is more important than its counterpart. Where will you begin? What will you decide?
Journey of Reconciliation: A Coventry Cathedral Pilgrimage
Coventry Cathedral tells a story. A historical narrative is written in the walls of both the old and new Cathedral, but components of the reconciliation journey also exist in the fabric of the space. This workshop takes participants on a pilgrimage through the ruins and new Cathedral to unpack aspects of reconciliation practice – through theology, stories of reconciliation and personal reflection.
Reconciliation: Reflections on Coventry’s Role Film Screening
Canons for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral from the 1970s to the present day have been interviewed on the influence of the Cathedral in their reconciliation work. In this 45 minute film, the Canons explore their own understanding of reconciliation and offer viewers an important set of questions to think about. Can we define reconciliation? How long should we remember wrongs suffered? Is the cross the only way to reconciliation? This workshop begins with a screening of the film and closes with a group discussion unpacking the questions that are raised by the Canons for Reconciliation.
Peace Train: The Redemptive Nature of Storytelling
This workshop explores the importance of narrative in the long journey of reconciliation by sharing the transformative story of a community in South Africa. After the racially-motivated 1996 Christmas Eve bombing in Worcester, South Africa, a group of victims and survivors travelled to Pretoria Prison to visit one of the perpetrators. Coventry Cathedral Canon for Reconciliation Sarah Hills took the train journey with the group and shares how the opportunity for truth telling created space for transformation and, for some, opened the path to forgiveness. Using the narrative of this community as a starting point, the workshop then focuses on your communal or individual narrative. How can opportunities for truth telling and storytelling be opportunities for bridging divides in your community? Where can you practice telling your own narrative as a means of redemption?