A message from the Chairman of
The Friends of Coventry Cathedral
Chairman's E-News
May 2024
I am pleased to announce details of Sent From Coventry – an exhibition sponsored by the Friends of Coventry Cathedral.
Members are invited to the
Private Viewing and Official Opening
of the exhibition at 6.30 pm on Friday 7th June 2024.   Numbers in the Chapel of Industry are limited so to ensure that there is sufficient space would you please register your attendance by email to [email protected] 7 days beforehand or by post to 63 Daventry Road, Coventry CV3 5DH.
Meet The Artist – 2pm on 15th June 2024
On this date in the John Laing Centre there will be an opportunity to hear Paul Catherall talk about his life and work with a demonstration of his technique.    Please register your attendance beforehand by email to [email protected] or by post to 63 Daventry Road, Coventry CV3 5DH.

    PAUL CATHERALL is a London-based artist who was raised in Coventry and his work reflects his love of the modern architectural icons of Brutalism and Modernism that framed his Coventry childhood.  
     One of Transport for London’s most prolific poster artists of recent years, Paul studied Illustration at Leicester Polytechnic and began his career as a working illustrator, creating figurative acrylic paintings for clients ranging from Marston’s Brewery to the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Harper Collins.
     He came to printmaking in 1998 when he was inspired to create a series of London images to mark how the city was changing as the Millennium approached. “The Millennium Dome was being built, Bankside was converted to Tate Modern… I wanted to capture that moment,” he recalls.
     After a series of successful London solo shows, Paul’s work was spotted by Transport for London’s poster art commissioner Michael Walton, who remembers being “electrified” by a flyer for one of those exhibitions.
     He says: “The rest is history.   Transport for London has commissioned and displayed many works by Paul and his first for us, Tate Modern, is a reminder of his huge talent, which, enhanced by time, has developed into what I consider to be the foremost linocut artist at work today.
     “Paul’s work resonates with anyone with a love of architecture, and his own passions translate with a simplicity of form that belies the immense work that each piece requires. In many ways Paul is the master of ‘less is more’.”
     High profile commissions include the Southbank Centre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Pallant House Gallery and British Airways.   His linocut skills are equally masterful when turning to pastoral landscapes and figurative works as his illustrations for clients including Penguin, Hodder & Stoughton and London Elects show.
     In 2012 he was one of six printmakers to be commissioned by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to create a print of Portcullis House to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

'This is


 THESE WERE THE words of Emily Hyles, curator at the Australian War Memorial, when she was presented with a Coventry Cross of Nails for the War Memorial Museum collection.
     My attention was drawn to this story in an online article about the Cross of Nails that was published by the Australian War Memorial Museum just before last Christmas.   The Coventry Cross of Nails came from St Paul’s Anglican Church in Hay, NSW, and it was gifted to the Australian War Memorial by the Anglican Diocese of Riverina at a special service at St Alban’s Cathedral in Griffith.
     At the presentation of the Coventry Cross of Nails the Museum curator spoke of its significance arising from the Coventry Blitz and the destruction of Coventry Cathedral.
    “This is a truly significant object,” she said. “It tells a powerful story in both a global and a very local context. It spans two world wars and is a small but powerful example of the depths of human behaviour and what man is capable of.
     “It not only speaks to the intensity of destruction on that night in November 1940, but it also tells the story of postwar reconciliation by civilians deeply affected by war.
     “It will assist our visitors to remember, interpret and understand our experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.”

     But the writer of the online article was puzzled and commented “How a Coventry Cross came to be in the small NSW town of Hay is unknown.”   The article goes on to suggest that perhaps Coventry was the personal connection of a former Hay incumbent who had served in the armed forces.
     I was intrigued and after some research I found the answer to this puzzle in an old edition of the Coventry Cathedral Chronicle published by the Friends of Coventry Cathedral.   In it there is a list of recipients of the Cross of Nails and a simple diary entry that reads –
 “June 1948.   The Bishop of Riverina.   “I shall take it back to our little Pro-Cathedral at Hay, where it will have an honoured place.”
     The question that this entry raises is what brought Bishop Charles Murray (pictured left) from a rural diocese in New South Wales to Coventry in 1948?  
     The answer probably lies in the 1948 gathering at The Lambeth Conference in London of some 329 Bishops from across the Anglican Communion.   That Lambeth Conference lasted for six weeks and my guess is that the Rt Rev Charles Murray was a delegate at that conference and visited Coventry during his free time.
     The 1948 Lambeth Conference was the first significant meeting of the Bishops since 1930.   It was extremely well-attended as the Bishops had serious ecumenical matters to consider.   In 1947 following the grant of Independence to India, the Church of South India had united the Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational churches in that region.    The Church of South India was a new Church with one million members, and its formation had caused great consternation among the Anglo-Catholic sections of the Anglican Church.
     In 1948 in the Diocese of Riverina, New South Wales the St Paul's Anglican Church, Hay was a Pro-Cathedral -  a church with cathedral status though it was not the main cathedral of the diocese.   The church building itself was historic having been erected in 1884/5 to relace an earlier church erected in 1868.   It continued to be a Pro-Cathedral until 1984.

     Sadly, over the years the congregation of St Paul’s declined.   As a consequence, the church fell into disrepair to such an extent that neither the congregation nor the diocese could afford to restore it.   In 2017 the closure of the church was reported in The Riverine Grazier
     Eventually, on 13th June 2020 the St Paul's Anglican Church, Hay building was deconsecrated.   Its congregation transferred membership to the Hay Uniting Church, and the church property was sold.   At that point when the property of St Paul’s was disposed of, the 1948 Coventry Cross of Nails was handed for safekeeping to the Australian War Memorial Museum where it remains today.
     (The information discovered about the original gift of the Cross of Nails has been shared with the curator of the War Memorial Museum.)

     THE WINNER OF the Cathedral’s “Growing Peace For Our Planet Art Competition” is currently on display in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral.   All of the winning entries will be exhibited in the John Laing Centre this September.
     The winning entry submitted by Eden Archer is a painting entitled “Unity In Action: A Collaborative Art Piece Reflecting The Urgency Of Climate Change 2023.”     It is a mixed media artwork by Harris School KS3 students.   At the centre is a cow holding a parrot in its mouth.   This image symbolises the devastating consequences of the deforestation of rainforests that are being sacrificed for agricultural purposes.

At its meeting on the 2nd May 2024 the Friends Council co-opted the following members - Paul Warren, Sandra Graham, David Porter.

The Annual General Meeting will be on 12th October 2024.

Members of the Friends are invited to take part in the 10.30am Sunday morning service on 26th May 2024 when the Anniversary of the Cathedral's Consecration will be celebrated.

Visit to Charterhouse
.   There have been difficulties establishing a May date so the visit previously announced is likely to take place at the end of June or in July.   Full details will be given in the June newsletter. 




SUNDAY 19th  MAY 12.15 – 1:30pm

In the Refectory - Tickets £8 on the door 
The choristers will play a variety of instruments, with singing and some magic tricks – use the stairs down to the undercroft or the lift in the John Laing Centre.
A simple lunch of soup, sandwiches and cake will be served.
Raising funds for the choristers’ 2024 tours to Wells Cathedral and to Romania.

THIS COPPER JUG recently appeared for sale online (price £125) with an inscription scratched on its base that reads:
Made in 1958 with copper from Coventry Cathedral damp course by D.P.BIRCH
By 1958 the foundations of the Cathedral had been long completed and the walls were well under way.   D P Birch must have been one of the workers on site.

Admission is free
  • A CONCERT of music and readings in celebration of NANCY McLAREN and RICHARD McLAREN will be held in Coventry Cathedral on Saturday 18th May 2024 at 3pm
  • ORGAN RECITAL.   Lunchtime Organ Recitals on the Cathedral organ start on 6th May.   Each Monday through the Summer there is a free half hour recital starting at 12.30pm.   Details of the organists who are playing and of their recital programme are available on the Coventry Cathedral website.
You are Welcome!     
If you are enjoying this newsletter and are not yet a member of the Friends of Coventry Cathedral I invite you to join us today. 
  The Friends support the ministry and buildings of Coventry Cathedral so that it can be there for future generations.

Joining is easy.   Simply use the online
                         membership application form.   

TONY CLEARY IS a member of Coventry Cathedral Choir who has just returned home after helping to drive his 4th ambulance to assist Ukraine.   On this occasion he was in a convoy of 3 ambulances and two 4x4s.
     To date the charity with which Tony is working has bought 25 ambulances made redundant by the NHS.   The reconditioned vehicles are then driven to the Ukraine border and handed over.  You may recall that in the past one of the ambulances was on display in the Cathedral porch.  
     The charity aims to send another 15 vehicles.   Donations can be made online using the Anthony Cleary Just Giving page.

The Revd Nitano Muller has been appointed as the Cathedral’s new Canon for Worship and Welcome.    He will be installed in June.
    Nitano comes from the small fishing-community of Ocean View, located at the southern-most tip of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. He completed a degree in Education and worked as a language and history teacher. While working as a teacher, Nitano was discerned for ordination to the priesthood in the Diocese of False Bay within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and entered residential theological training at the College of the Transfiguration, Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown).
     He served his curacies in two vastly different contexts in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats and Hermanus along the south-eastern coastline of False Bay (where he ministered to the Late Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a parishioner).   He currently serves as Rector of St. Peter’s Church, Kleinvlei, False Bay Diocese and is one of the youngest serving Rectors in his Diocese.   
     He is the Diocesan Chaplain for Young People, a consultant for the Provincial Liturgical Committee, and a representative of his diocese on the South African Council of Churches (Western Cape).   In 2022, Nitano was selected as a Trinity Leadership Fellow, a program run by Trinity Wall Street, New York, for emerging faith leaders from across the world who seek to enhance their skills in order to contribute to meaningful change and transformation in their respective fields and contexts.

Tickets can be bought in advance, online or direct from Jill Pacey ([email protected]).   Tickets will be available on the door. 

MY COLLECTION OF CDs includes ORGAN CLASSICS in the HMV Classics series played by Wayne Marshall on Coventry Cathedral organ.   He made that recording in 1989 and it was his first commercial recording.
     Since then he has gone on to travel the world conducting musicians and  giving recitals, including appearances on the BBC Proms.   He has held the post of principal conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi and he conducted the premiere performance of the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first professional black and ethnic minority orchestra, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.   He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to music.
     Wayne recently returned to Coventry Cathedral to attend the Coventry University graduation ceremony at which he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of outstanding services to music and musical performance.    At the ceremony he played a short recital on the Cathedral organ. (PHOTO ABOVE)


 Martin R Williams  
  63 Daventry Rd,
  Coventry CV3 5DH  


Try holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and pressing the + key until the words are big enough to read.

An amusing anecdote.   On April 4, 1942, the diarist Henry “Chips” Channon and a few of his friends paid a visit to Wells Cathedral—one of England’s early Gothic treasures—in the southwest county of Somerset.    Having spent some time in the cathedral’s interior, “an untidy and unattractive mess,” he sat down to lunch with Francis Underhill, the bishop of Bath and Wells.    Apparently a devotee of Victorian literature, the bishop quipped that “there is nothing I like better than to lie in my bed with my favourite Trollope,” a remark that, Channon reported, titillated the room.



Copyright © 2024 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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