I recently spent the day at Coventry Cathedral, I had never been before and I was spurred on to visit by our Lent course two years ago written by Bishop Andy. He featured a statue in the old Cathedral entitled “Reconciliation”.
I have walked around church and abbey ruins before and have been impressed by their Christian and social history but it didn’t prepare me for the ruins of Coventry Cathedral. Even before I found the statue I was looking for I was struck by something, I’m not sure what, but something quite powerful in this open space surrounded by broken walls and windows frames. As I walked around stopping to read and reflect on the prayers in each part of the Cathedral, trying to imagine what it was like on that night in November 1940 when the incendiary bombs fell ripping the city apart, I looked up to one of the window frames to see the sun glistening through small pieces of stained glass. It stopped me in my tracks! These small beautiful coloured pieces determined to stand their ground through all the horrors of war - determined to shine in spite of the horrors that continue today. This place wasn’t a ruin – broken and dilapidated, it was alive with prayer and love and hope. That was what I felt as I walked into the Cathedral; the very powerful love and hope that we all have through Jesus our Lord.
We arrived at the right time to share in the daily Litany of Reconciliation before the Altar which held the cross of charred wood, with the words “Father Forgive” on the wall behind, fervently praying for peace and reconciliation in our troubled world today. We were humbled to share the Eucharist with strangers in one of the Chapels in the new Cathedral. I was able to stand and admire the beautiful statue; “Reconciliation” which I thought was going to be the highlight of my visit. But it wasn’t. The one thing that I will keep with me always is that sign of hope in those tiny broken pieces of glistening stained glass. For me, the symbol of God’s love and forgiveness for us all, shining through the broken glass, overpowered the hatred rife in the world today,
Alleluia, Christ is risen
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
With every blessing to you and yours