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


Archive Film Show
   TO HALLOW THE site of the new Coventry Cathedral a burning candle was carried from the medieval crypt chapels beneath the Ruins to the new Chapel of the Cross constructed in the Cathedral undercroft.   In the full glare of the television cameras Provost Howard handed the flame to his successor, Provost Williams, who used it to light the candles on the new altar in preparation for its consecration by Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley.
    This was the physical birth – the transfer of Coventry Cathedral from the Ruins to the new site.   It took place on New Year’s Eve 1958 and was broadcast live on BBC TV.
Members of the FRIENDS are invited to view archive film footage of this event in the new Cathedral Pavilion on
2nd April 2022 at 3pm.  
Tea and light refreshments will be served upon arrival.   
There is no charge.   Donations will be invited.

There is only one copy of this 20 minute film known to exist, and it has never previously been shown to members of the Cathedral community.  This may be your only opportunity to see it.

To show such an historic film is surely an appropriate way in which to start the Friends programme of meetings in 2022 - the Year of the Cathedral’s Diamond Jubilee.

         Do not forget to make a note of the date in your diary!
                                     2nd April at 3pm


Sadler Photo Exhibition

Is Launched

THE RICHARD SADLER Photo Exhibitions were launched last month in the Old Grammar School, Hales Street.
     Chenine Bhathena, the Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture, spoke glowingly of the work of Photo Miners in presenting a range of photos that capture Coventry scenes from the post-war period.  (photo centre top)   They are a wonderful record of the city’s heritage.   Ben Kyneswood of Photo Miners thanked the FRIENDS and the other sponsors for their support. (photo right top)
There are 3 free exhibitions –
  • Pioneering People: Sadler and the City (8th February)
  • Pioneering Industry: Sadler and Courtaulds (15th March)
  • Pioneering Arts: Sadler and the Cathedral (24th April to 31st May)
The Coventry Cathedral photos catch moments in Cathedral life that will never be repeated.   They are an exciting record.   You will not want to miss them.
    Richard’s photos capture the nave windows reflected in marble floors shining like mirrors.   He caught the arrival of the Tapestry from France.   He witnessed the helicopter crowning the Cathedral’s fleche with the Flying Angel.   The exhibition includes these and many other photographs.
    The exhibition of Richard Sadler’s photos of the Cathedral has been sponsored by the FRIENDS in celebration of the Cathedral's Diamond Jubilee.   It will open from Tuesday to Sunday between 24th April and 27th May. 

     The Cathedral Photo Exhibition provides an opportunity for members of the FRIENDS to assist.   Each day Coventry City Hosts will be present for security purposes.  The day has two 3 hour sessions between - 10am to 4pm.   It would be ideal if at each session we could find an additional steward familiar with the Cathedral’s story to answer any visitor questions.
   Please let me know if you can spare one or more 3 hour sessions during the five weeks of the Cathedral Exhibition.

Souvenir Book

PHOTO MINERS have published a souvenir book featuring 18 pictures from the 3 exhibitions.   Only 250 copies have been produced and the price is £5 per copy.
   As the books are likely to sell out I have secured a small number for members of the Friends.   I am happy to send you a book on receipt of £5 payable to The Friends of Coventry Cathedral PLUS a SAE (stamped addressed envelope).  
  Alternatively, if you prefer you can add £1.50 to cover the additional cost and send £6.50 direct to the Friends bank with an email to me confirming the address to which you would like your book to be sent.
    Cheques payable to the Friends of Coventry Cathedral can be sent to 63 Daventry Road, Coventry CV3 5DH.  
     Payment can be made direct to the Friends of Coventry Cathedral bank account at
HSBC, PO BOX 24, City Branch, Coventry CV1 1QJ
Sort code 40 18 17    Account number 80360244

marking the payment “Sadler”.   If you pay direct to our bank, please confirm by email to [email protected].





While the country starts to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee the Friends of Coventry Cathedral has taken the opportunity to recall the 7 visits by the Queen to Coventry Cathedral captured by the camera. 
Can you identify all 7?   If not, then this selection of photos will jog your memory.
Forward this newsletter and share pictures of the Queen with others.   All are welcome to join the Friends and view them!

For members who have not yet registered on the website.  
When you log on to
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.

Thank You For the Music
THE FRIENDS OF Coventry Cathedral raised a total of £20,000 towards the Coventry Cathedral Organ Appeal.   Seated at the organ console the Chairman handed the cheque to Rachel Mahon, Cathedral Director of Music.
   The Cathedral's Organ Appeal was launched upon receipt of the expert's technical report following a detailed examination of the organ and its works.   The next stage in the restoration process is to instruct structural engineers who will determine the best way in which to tackle the work.   They will examine the effect on the Cathedral structure of the removal of the organ pipes and the weight impact of the scaffolding.   When that work is done a specialist organ contractor can be appointed.  Those specialists are normally booked years in advance, so there will be a delay before any work starts on site.
    The Organ Appeal remains open to receive further donations.   Payments can be made through the Friends in the same way as for the Souvenir Book above.    


BARBARA WALKER IS the second artist taking part in the Broken Angel Project and her work is unveiled this month.  
    The project is inviting three artists to respond to the space vacated by the vandalised Angel panel in John Hutton’s west screen.   The FRIENDS has made a grant towards the project.
    In her work for the Broken Angel Project Barbara has focussed on how belongings and ‘attributes’ – the way historic art uses objects to describe figures in faith stories – shape how we understand their identities.  The work will be unveiled on 3rd March.


Tangerine Dream
I TRAVELLED TO Bristol for a seminar on recent changes in the law and I made sure that while I was there I had time to visit SS Great Britain moored in Bristol docks.   I wanted to visit the Great Britain to see the biggest iron-hulled ship in the world (launched in 1843) because it was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who is one of my heroes.   She was the first steamer to cross the Atlantic.
     The ship’s museum runs an extensive schools programme with thousands of children visiting each year.   As I walked through an empty teaching area I noticed an old spade hung on the wall.   The notice alongside it read, “This is an original spade used by labourers who helped dig Bristol Docks.   The shaft was replaced five times, and the blade replaced twice.”
The question for the pupils was – What is original?
    I remembered my Bristol experience when I saw the advert for this month’s Cathedral concert of electronic music by Tangerine Dream.

    In 1975 I was in the audience for Tangerine Dream’s first concert in Coventry Cathedral.   At that time synthesisers were not as common as they are today and I wanted to hear what electronic rock music sounds like in live performance.   Queues formed outside well before the Cathedral doors opened.   A youthful audience packed the nave.   We were not disappointed.  
The performers manned their consoles under discreet and sensitive lighting amidst tall rows of burning candles.   The music had a magical, ethereal quality that in the surroundings of the Cathedral conveyed a tangible sense of the numinous.   When it rose to a crescendo the building reverberated and my stomach shook and quivered with the vibrations – a new experience for me in my Cathedral!
    The reason I recalled my visit to Bristol is that today’s Tangerine Dream is quite different from the 1975 Tangerine Dream.   The group got together in the late 1960s and by the time of the 1975 concert the established line up was Edgar Froese (the leader), Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann.   They created waves of support and their fans filled cathedrals and other large venues across Europe and across the world.   Since then the group has issued more than 100 recordings.
    The band originated in Germany, but its music crosses national borders with ease.   Audiences across the world often describe the effect of the music as uplifting, creating a feeling of happiness.   Today’s line up is Thorsten Quaeschning, Hoshiko Yamane, Paul Frick and Ulrich Schnauss.   Thorsten is the longest serving member as he joined in 2005.  
    The Cathedral concert is on 11th March 2022 at 7pm with a ticketing link on the Cathedral website.   The performance is accompanied by a sophisticated light show – I am not sure about candles!   
    If synthesised electronic music is new to you then this is a good opportunity to experience that music in concert.   It is also a chance for people of my generation to bathe in nostalgia for the 1970s when electronic music reached the peak of its popularity.
And in the surroundings of the Cathedral you may find that the ethereal qualities of the sound add a spiritual depth, perhaps even a touch of magic to the experience.

     Good Friday


    On 15th April 2022 the Coventry Cathedral Chorus with the Orchestra Pro Anima and Fine Arts Brass will present

Chilcott: St. John Passion

“It is the austerity, the agony and ultimately the grace of this story that has inspired me to write this piece”. BOB CHILCOTT

Finzi: Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice

Performance time 6:00pm - 8:30pm (Doors open at 5:15 pm)


Tickets £22 and £15 (students and U18s half-price) are available to members of the FRIENDS of Coventry Cathedral at a discount.   To benefit from the discount please order your tickets from Jill Pacey –
EMAIL [email protected]     TELEPHONE -01676 532436

Cathedral Stewards wanted!

CATHEDRAL STEWARDS ASSIST concerts and events in a variety of ways - including welcoming people, checking tickets and answering general queries (mainly about where the loos are!).
If you have never stewarded before you are very welcome to come along and help out.   In the immediate programme Cathedral Stewards are needed for the following events, and will report at the West Screen at the times given:
   Tangerine Dream -
11th March: Call time 5:45pm (show start 7 pm)
   Aled Jones at Coventry Cathedral -
15th March: Call time 6:45pm (show start 7 pm)
   Sophie Scholl Passion -
19th March: Call time 4:45pm (show start 6 pm)
If you can help please let Carla Crawley know at the Cathedral.   Her telephone number is 024 7652 1234 and her email address is                                      [email protected]

The Friends membership application form is available online –

Cathedral choristers save 50%

LAST MONTH THE Friends Council resolved to offer half price life membership subscriptions to all former members of Coventry Cathedral Choir.
The current subscriptions to the Friends are :
      Annual single £25                         Annual joint £35
      Life membership single £250       Life membership joint £350
This reduction in the life membership subscription now offers every former chorister a saving of £125.
A discount of 10% is also offered to all members of the FRIENDS on their transfer from annual to life membership.   The other current subscription concession is free 5-year membership offered to all choristers upon leaving the Cathedral Choir.

   Martin R Williams

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




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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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