A PLACE FOR PEACE
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Coventry Cathedral is an extraordinary place, dedicated to inspiring and bringing reconciliation, hope and peace. We are looking for some extraordinary people, committed to supporting this iconic place, and enabling our inspirational work to continue and flourish in the years ahead.
We believe in harnessing the power of the past to build peace for the future. Coventry Cathedral’s unique calling as a catalyst for peace and reconciliation was born out of the Coventry Blitz in the Second World War. Our incredible building is a living symbol of a city’s pain powerfully transformed to build hope, embedded in the heart of a community that suffered much but responded with courage, determination and forgiveness. This is key to all the work we do.
The morning after the old Cathedral was destroyed by bombing, Provost Howard stood among the ruins and wrote on one of the walls “Father Forgive”. This simple act began a process which led to the building of the new Cathedral alongside the ruins of the old. Since then Coventry Cathedral has become recognised across the world as a uniquely powerful symbol of peace and reconciliation.
WE BELIEVE IN HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE PAST TO BUILD PEACE FOR THE FUTURE.
A PEOPLE FOR PEACE
We want to keep our arms and doors wide open – welcoming all, reconciling with all, keeping faith with all.
However, the Cathedral is much more than a building. It is the spiritual home to a people of reconciliation. The Community of the Cross of Nails takes its name from the simple cross made from nails taken from the destroyed building, and now has 200 partner organisations across 30 countries.
Coventry Cathedral has pioneered ways of enabling people to work together despite their differences, working with those differences to a shared future. Out of the destruction we have found ways of making friends with those who were once enemies. Standing together with those friends – especially in Dresden and Berlin – we have been able to help others reimagine a future in which they too can stand side by side. Our expertise in theologically-inspired conflict resolution is sought after locally, nationally and internationally. Our heritage and our future are rooted in those words ‘Father forgive’.
We are open-hearted and exclude nobody from our community. Our inclusive vision and heart-felt mission has led us to attempt much – but not always with the resources to pay for it. We want to keep our arms and doors wide open – welcoming all, reconciling with all, keeping faith with all.
• Healing the Wounds of History
• Learning to Live with Difference and to Celebrate Diversity
• Building a Culture of Peace
These are our priorities, which are embraced by those from all faiths and none.
A PROCESS FOR PEACE
The inspiration provided by our iconic buildings, is always needed and never-ending.
I WANT TO CALL IT ‘NEW COVENTRY’ AS IT WILL BE A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO LEARN ABOUT RECONCILIATION, DIGNITY AND TO VALUE HUMAN RIGHTS.
Peace isn’t a permanent state – it has to be worked at constantly. Reconciling individuals, communities, nations is a long process that needs courage, resilience and above all, hope. So our work, and the inspiration provided by our iconic buildings, is always needed and never-ending.
One of our international peace prize winners, Therese Mapenzi from the DRC, was so moved by our work of reconciliation, and inspired by the words, ‘Father, forgive’, that she now talks of creating transformation in her war torn country by building a ‘new Coventry’ in the DRC. “I want to call it ‘New Coventry’ as it will be a place for people to learn about reconciliation, dignity and to value human rights. It’s a memorial that will be built by the community and for the community. As the community builds this memorial together so we can learn from each other and say to the rest of the country that we don’t want the violence to be repeated again here.”
One of our CCN partners, a military chaplaincy in the Netherlands wrote,
“We realize how special it is to pray the Litany in a military area. It is extraordinary to pray for the coming of his peaceable Kingdom, wearing a military uniform! We wish to be a part of the CCN as network of Churches and Christian organisations who share a common commitment to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation, inspired by the story of Coventry Cathedral.”
In a recent interview, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said,
‘It’s the desire of my heart to find ways in which we can transform destructive violent conflict into peaceful disagreement and diversity. So I carry with me in my mind the image of Christ in glory behind the high altar at Coventry and in my heart there is that memory of sitting in my stall at evensong on the days before I travelled to somewhere dangerous and difficult feeling sick and frightened and looking at the man standing between the feet of Jesus – overshadowed by (despite being unable to see) the Christ who protected him.’
Standing alongside the splendour of Basil Spence’s new Cathedral, the ruins of the old Cathedral, bombed in 1940, are open to the public every day. A local business woman, using the ruins as a shortcut, and coming across the Litany of Reconciliation being prayed, was moved to tears and said that, although she has no faith, her experience of hearing the Litany in the setting of the ruins will lead her to rethink how she does business.
A PARTNER FOR PEACE – THIS IS OUR ‘BIG ASK’
In order to stand alongside others, we need others to stand alongside us.
Coventry Cathedral is firmly rooted in the real world. Because the real world is often unforgiving, our inspirational presence, together with the work and witness that flow from it, are in constant demand. But the world is also unforgiving materially and financially. Even a building as evocative and much-loved as ours faces maintenance concerns and money worries.
These issues are now coming to a head – which is why we are looking for some very special people who we’re going to call Coventry Cathedral’s ‘Investors in Hope’.
We need an additional £300,000 each year to enable us simply to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the work and witness alive. To help us sustain our vital work month in, month out, we are inviting our ‘Investors in Hope’ to join our committed giving scheme.
Every ‘Coventry Cathedral: Investor in Hope’ will automatically become a Friend of Coventry Cathedral and receive the benefits given to members. But much more importantly, every Investor can be confident that they are making a really significant contribution to the life of this extraordinary place, to the extraordinary people that work here, and to the extraordinarily powerful process of peace and reconciliation – in the city of Coventry, in the UK, and across the world.
A ‘Coventry Cathedral: Investor in Hope’ commits a regular monthly payment – anything from £10 per month, with no upper limit. And through Gift Aid the value of your contribution is, of course, automatically increased.
Will you stand with us and be a catalyst – for peace, for reconciliation and for hope in our communities and our world? Will you help us not only literally to keep the lights on here, but also help us to keep being a light to the world?
EVEN A BUILDING AS EVOCATIVE AND MUCH-LOVED AS OURS FACES MAINTENANCE CONCERNS AND MONEY WORRIES.
Investors in Hope is open to those giving from only £10.00 per month, with no upper limit. Those who donate will receive many benefits, including:
• Membership of Friends of the Cathedral
• Becoming part of a supportive community of like-minded individuals
• Invitations to select social and cultural activities throughout the year
• Regular news updates about the life and work of the cathedral
Generous donations of £10,000 or above will also receive:
• Recognition throughout the Cathedral’s public presence (the building, website and printed publications)
• Invitations to select social and cultural events throughout the year, with the opportunity to arrange bespoke receptions alongside the existing events programme
• Preferential service, rates and access for booking corporate events at the Cathedral
GIFT AID TERMS AND CONDITIONS
To qualify for Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax at least equal to the tax that the Cathedral and any other charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs you donate to reclaim on your donations in the appropriate tax year (currently 25p for each £1 given)*. Other taxes such as Council Tax and VAT do not qualify.
1. You can cancel this declaration at any time by notifying the Cathedral’s Fundraising Team.
2. If in the future, your circumstances change and you no longer pay tax on your income and capital gains equal to the tax that the Cathedral reclaims, you can cancel your Declaration.
3. If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can claim further tax relief in your Self-Assessment tax return.
4. If you are unsure whether your donations qualify for Gift Aid tax relief, ask the Cathedral Fundraising Team or refer to help sheet IR65 on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
5. Please notify the Cathedral if you change your name or address.
*Gift Aid is linked to basic rate tax. Basic rate tax is currently 20%, which allows charities to reclaim 25p on each £1. Higher rate tax payers can claim back the difference between basic and higher rate tax.
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