An absolutely core member of our team right across the Cathedral, Hanna-Lotta, effectively finishes her internship with us today, having been recalled home a month ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been such an unmitigated joy to have her with us for just over half of the year she would have normally spent, and we’re all so very sad to lose her. She’s done some tasks from home in Germany these past few weeks for us too. We will all miss you so much, Hanna-Lotta!  

6 months and 9 days, that means 191 days, 4584 hours, 16502400 seconds have I been able to spend in Coventry. Six months full of new experiences, 191 days of good humour, 4584 hours with lovely people and 16502400 seconds which I absolutely enjoyed.

Sadly, I had to leave Coventry five months earlier than expected, because of the Corona crisis. At the end of March I finally took a plane from London to Bremen, after two flights from London to Germany got cancelled.

It was just a weird feeling to know that I have to leave Coventry, my work at the Cathedral, my lovely co-workers, my new friends. In one week, my whole plans for my future got muddled up and I flew home with the feeling of that everything is just a bad dream. I think until I arrived in Germany, I didn’t really realise that this is a pandemic and that the situation is real! On the one hand I was so sad to leave my new life now behind me, and on the other hand I was glad to be with my family during these difficult times. I was looking forward to seeing my friends and my family again; I had not seen them for nearly 7 months. When I arrived, I realised that this will be quite hard, even impossible. Of course, we couldn’t have a welcome party. No ‘goodbye hugs’ in England, no ‘welcome hugs’ in Germany. It is hard for me to know that I even left the country at such a difficult time.

But I do think it is important to look forward. I’m truly grateful for my experiences in Coventry, for the opportunity to work for the Community of Cross of Nails, to meet so many lovely people, and that I was able to input to the youth and environment work in the CCN.

I have learnt a lot in the last 6 months. I have learnt that you can feel home in another country after a few months. I have learnt a lot about reconciliation and forgiveness, that reconciliation isn’t always easy, that it does take time. I have got to know the British humour, the welcoming way of the people in Coventry, and many cups of tea.

I do not know exactly how my future will look. I have quite a few ideas of what I can do next and I hope that one part will be the opportunity to come back to Coventry and to say goodbye properly with a proper ‘goodbye hug’.

I hope every one of you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe!

Hanna-Lotta with Jen, our ICONS manager, as they were both introduced to the Cathedral congregation by Dean John last Cross of Nails Sunday, in September 2019.

Hanna-Lotta Lehmann


CCN Thought for the Week for 30th April – Hanna-Lotta Lehmann, reconciliation intern
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