A message from the Chairman of
The Friends of Coventry Cathedral
Chairman's E-News
                                 August 2022

Seize the day!
THE FRIENDS HAVE learned of a forthcoming auction that will include the cartoon by John Hutton for one of the west screen engraved angels.   The angel in the cartoon stretches across three glass panels in the screen.

     The Hutton cartoon is part of an estate and the executors were initially hoping to raise at least £2,000 from its sale.   The executors have agreed to accept the pre-auction sum of £1500 if it can be raised by the Friends of Coventry Cathedral as they would like the angel to wing its way to Coventry.
     The cartoon is in the north of England, so I asked the Cathedral Archivist, Dianne Morris, if she would be kind enough to view it.   She has reported –

“They are just amazing, and I was lost for words when I first saw them.   There is a triptych of images, with the image in the middle signed by John Hutton.   They are white chalk on black cartridge paper and measure approximately 8’ by 3’.   They are framed and glazed”.

     The photo of the 3 panels that I have reproduced is deceptive because the glass has reflected the room in which they stand.   In Coventry on the west screen the angel is in the top row of angels on the baptistry side of the building.   The photo of the west screen shows the angel in the cartoon but with an outside view, rather than the inside view of the cartoon.

An appeal for £1800 to bring home the Hutton Angel

The Hutton cartoon is an original work of art that is now offered to the Friends before it goes to auction.   We have a month to raise £1800, a sum to include the cost of specialised transport to bring the cartoons back to Coventry.

I appeal for your help.   Will you please help the Hutton Angel to fly back to Coventry?
How can I help?
Contributions (payable to The Friends of Coventry Cathedral) can be sent to the following address:
          Hutton Angel Appeal
          63 Daventry Road
          Coventry CV3 5DH

Payment can also be made direct to the Friends account at
HSBC, PO BOX 24, City Branch, Coventry CV1 1QJ
Sort code 40 18 17  Account number 80360244
marking the payment “Hutton Angel”.




THE QUEEN’S BATON followed a route around Coventry city centre on its way to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham that started a week later.

Thousands of people lined the route as fifteen nominated baton bearers carried the baton through Coventry.   The photo shows baton bearer Mikey Akers in Coventry Cathedral Ruins, as the baton was taken around the city’s famous landmarks.

In Coventry the baton’s final destination was the Assembly Festival Gardens where it was greeted with confetti canons before a laser light show in the Cathedral Ruins.


 An Historic Link
(pictured below) was one of the four fire watchers on duty on the Cathedral roof during the night of the Coventry Blitz of 14th November 1940.
    Today the Charred Cross standing in the Cathedral Ruins is his legacy.  
Jock was the Cathedral stonemason, and on the 15th November he wandered through the smoking Ruins that were piled high with fallen masonry and charred roof timbers.   Two of the timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross.   He picked them up, tied them together and, later, stood them in a fire bucket full of sand.
     Jock’s story was retold by Jock’s daughter in law, Mrs Katie Forbes, when she attended the Cathedral Diamond Jubilee Service and was introduced to Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Christopher Cocksworth (photo above).   Mrs Forbes was the guest of Peter Wilford of The City of Coventry’s Freemen’s Guild, who kindly provided me with the accompanying photograph.

Organ recitals

On Mondays in August at 12.30pm there is a free recital on the magnificent Harrison & Harrison organ of Coventry Cathedral.   The full music programme booklet is available at the Cathedral and music information can also be found on the Cathedral website.
             1st August 2022      Manuel Piazza (New Haven, Ct.)     
              8th August 2022     Michael Stephens-Jones (Guildford)
          15th August 2022    Mark Swinton (St Mary’s, Warwick)
   22nd August 2022   Carolyn Craig (New Haven, Ct.)
                     29th August 2022    Anthony Gritten (Royal Academy of Music)



for Dean

On the 25th July the University of Warwick was handed an honorary doctorate following the reading of the following citation.
John is Dean of Coventry, carrying responsibility for the overall leadership of the Cathedral’s ministry both locally and internationally. Coventry Cathedral is well known for its pioneering work in reconciliation, following its destruction in November 1940. The new Cathedral, consecrated in 1962, is an outstanding example of twentieth century art and architecture, combining the medieval ruins and new building in a narrative journey from destruction to the hope of new life. Under John’s leadership, the Cathedral has navigated significant recent challenges in moving towards financial sustainability, and has been proud to take a central position in the bid and delivery for the City’s programme as City of Culture 2021.
John has a background in Practical Theology and an MPhil in the atonement theology of Tillich and Rahner, and is passionate about weaving the threads of reconciliation and the arts into a contemporary witness which is offered to all, regardless of faith or background.


A COLOURING BOOK promoting the work for reconciliation that is undertaken in Coventry is now available online from the Cathedral (or direct from the Cathedral Schools Service).   The price is £6.
     The book has been designed, written and illustrated by Cathy Renken (photo left) who is an artist living and working in Coventry.   The story book fits in with lessons taught in schools about war, peace and reconciliation. It is suitable for five to fourteen year olds and aligns with the national school curriculum of Key Stages one, two and three.
     Production was made possible through the generosity of Clive Benfield of Benfield Homes.   Members may recall that his father, K B Benfield, a former Lord Mayor, led the 1970s Cathedral appeal to “Save Our Spire”.
     The Benfield family has long been connected with the Cathedral.   Clive’s grandfather was a Cathedral churchwarden, his parents were married there, and his brother, Michael, was the last child to be christened at the old cathedral before it was bombed.
     Clive said:    “The Cathedral – both old and new – has always played an important part in my family and I want to do whatever I can to support it. That is why I am proud to sponsor this beautiful book with its important story of peace and reconciliation.
 “I remember climbing very tall ladders reaching up to the top of the spire when I was working with my father and it has been amazing to have played a part in the Cathedral’s reconstruction and everything it means to people in Coventry and across the world.”

     The whole project has been managed by Peter Wilford of the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild.  
     Woven into pages showing local sites that are familiar to many of us and that are designed for colouring you will find examples from the history of both City and Cathedral that have made Coventry a City of Peace and Reconciliation.
I Will Arise!

THIS DIAMOND JUBILEE Year allows us to look back at 1962, the year of the Cathedral’s Consecration.   That momentous day, 25th May 1962, was followed by the Cathedral Festival, probably best remembered today for the premiere performances of Britten’s “War Requiem”.
     As part of the Coventry Cathedral Festival “I Will Arise!” is a lesser known morality play that was performed in Leamington Parish Church during June 1962 by the Stroud Players.   It is a play on the selected list of The Religious Drama Society and it has strong links with Coventry Cathedral.  
     The play was premiered in Coventry Cathedral in 1944 on a stage erected amidst the rubble in the Ruins.   The producer on that occasion was E Martin Browne, who had already achieved a national reputation as a producer of religious drama.   The photo taken from a newspaper cutting shows the producer (2nd from right) giving instructions to two of the actors with his assistant producer (far left).
     From 1962 to 1965 E Martin Browne was the Drama Adviser to Coventry Cathedral.   At that time there was also a full-time Cathedral Director of Drama, Martyn Colbourn, appointed 1960.
     The play was written by Thomas Baden Morris, who is regarded as the most prolific one-act playwright of the 20th century, with over 100 published one-act plays.   “I Will Arise!” is one of his most widely performed plays in churches, community halls and theatres.   It featured in the 1949 Memorial Ceremonies of the Battle of Arnhem, and has been broadcast by BBC Radio both in English and on the Arabic Service.   It has even been translated into Welsh!
“The performance of T B Morris’s play has the qualities which the play itself possesses – sincerity, purpose, pattern and clarity.   I WILL ARISE! Is much more than a representational play: it is fine drama…and there is beauty in it all.”   (John Bourne in the Coventry Evening Telegraph) 

“Many listeners who heard the morality play I WILL ARISE! must have been stirred by the challenge it proclaimed … the play conveyed its challenge in unequivocal terms but in scenes of great beauty.(Birmingham Mail reviewing the BBC broadcast).


Su McClellan
was ordained priest last month.  
For the last year she has been based at the Cathedral part-time as a deacon whilst continuing to lead the Church Engagement Team at the charity Embrace the Middle East.
The photo was taken at her first celebration of communion at the high altar.





 There is something wrong with this postcard that was posted in 1990.

   Can you tell what is wrong with it?

   The answer is at the end of the newsletter.


If you have not yet obtained your copy of CATHEDRAL REFLECTIONS
do not worry - there are still some copies available.
     The book is on sale by members of the Friends Council and at the Cathedral nave bookstall and at St Clare’s in St Michael’s Avenue, price £5.
     For those members away from Coventry the book is also available
BY POST     Order online at [email protected] and send £5 plus postage to Friends of Coventry Cathedral, 63 Daventry Road, Coventry CV3 5DH
PAYMENT  either  by cheque  or  direct to the Friend's bank
POSTAGE (single copy)
    UK - £1.65 (2nd class)
    Europe - £4.25
    Worldwide - £5.85 (standard international)
Friends of Coventry Cathedral bank account
HSBC, PO BOX 24, City Branch, Coventry CV1 1QJ
Sort code 40 18 17    Account number 80360244
IBAN: GB61HBUK40181780360244
Branch identifier: HBUKGB4103V
Members of the Friends of Coventry Cathedral are able to access an online exhibition of RICHARD SADLER Cathedral Photos in the Friends Memorabilia section of the Friends website.   The photographs were taken in the years immediately before and after the 1962 Consecration when Richard was the official Cathedral photographer.   He was brought up in Coventry and became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

For members who have not yet registered on the website.  
When you log on to     friendsofcoventrycathedral.org.uk
you subscribe by entering your email address.   (You are already a member so you do not need to join again.)   You can set your own password.   This gives you exclusive access to the members’ material in the Members Memorabilia section.

The Friends membership application form is available online –

There is something wrong with this postcard.

Why on earth was it printed back to front?   
Holy Trinity Church appears to be on the wrong side!

Coventry Crosses at Lambeth

THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE is taking place this month and 650+ bishops from across the Anglican Communion are meeting together for prayer and reflection, dialogue and fellowship and discussion of church and world affairs.   There is a Lambeth Conference approximately every ten years.
      During the Sunday morning communion service in the Cathedral last month four Coventry crosses of nails were blessed by Dean John Witcombe.   This week Dean John delivered the crosses to the Lambeth Conference where the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, placed the pectoral crosses round the necks of four Bishops who have asked to use them.
      The four bishops are Bishop Shane A.D.Parker (top picture below).   He is the Bishop of Ottowa and also Chairman of the Canadian Community of the Cross of Nails. 
     The other recipients in the lower row are (L to R) Bishop Vicentia R Kgabe who is the Bishop of Lesotho, Bishop Christopher T J Chessun who is the Bishop of Southwark and Bishop Dalcy B Dlamini who is the Bishop of Swaziland.
   The theme of the Lambeth Conference 2022 is “God’s Church for God’s World – walking, listening and witnessing together.”

  Martin R Williams  

  [email protected]  
  63 Daventry Rd, Coventry CV3 5DH  







Copyright © 2022 The Friends of Coventry Cathedral, All rights reserved.
The Friends of Coventry Cathedral was founded in 1934. It is an independent Charity No. 1061176 registered in England and Wales, with an annually elected Council.
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