During the morning service in Coventry Cathedral on Sunday June 12th a group of students and staff from the Berufsbildungszentrum (vocational college) in Kiel presented the Cathedral with a Globe Candlestand that the students have made.

The stand holds 57 candles, which is the number of victims of the London bombings that took place on the 7th of July 2005, including the two bombers.

Reverend Canon Dr Sarah Hills, Canon for Reconciliation, said:

“In 1947 civic and religious leaders presented the first Cross of Nails to the people of Kiel and from that first act many friendships and partnerships have been built.  With the young people presenting this Candlestand today, we know that the friendship will continue into the future.”

The origin of Coventry’s links with Kiel is well known. Nearly 80% of Kiel’s buildings were destroyed by allied bombing during WWII.   A British officer from Coventry named Williams was stationed in Kiel and returned to the city to organise relief and to help a place that had suffered from distress similar to that suffered by his own home town.

In response to the invitation of the Kiel Burgermeister the Mayor of Coventry, a trades union representative and Provost Howard travelled to Kiel in September 1947, and that was the first official Anglo-German inter-city exchange.

During the visit Provost Howard presented a Coventry cross of nails to Provost Lorenzen of the damaged church of St Nikolai.   A stone from that church was presented to Provost Howard and today is treasured in the Cathedral Archives.

(Photos by Martin Williams)

Globe Candlestand – a gift from Kiel