Today, Mon 16th May Open 10:00am–4:00pm
Coventry Cathedral is open as normal today
General visiting times: Mon-Sat 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 12:30pm–3:00pm

Bombing, to building

The personal journey of a military man

During WWII, Wing Commander John Dowling served as the captain of Lancaster Bomber, playing a direct role in the devastation of German cities. Nevertheless, as a life-long practising Roman Catholic he was on record as being strongly against attacks motivated by the desire for revenge. Indeed, of his many military medals, most were awarded for his post-WWII service as a daring helicopter pilot, rescuing injured soldiers from conflict zones throughout the 1950s Malayan Emergency.

John Dowling must therefore have been delighted when, some 15 years after his bombing days were over and by now regarded as the RAF’s most accomplished helicopter pilot, he was asked to help with the construction of the new Coventry Cathedral by lowering not a bomb, but a slender 24m spire, onto its gently undulating roof.

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