A message from the Chairman of
The Friends of Coventry Cathedral
Join the Race to support
the Cathedral Choir
THIS CHRISTMAS THE Friends have organised a Christmas Balloon Race to raise funds for Coventry Cathedral Choir.
In 2024 Coventry Cathedral Choir plans to carry Coventry’s message of peace and reconciliation into the heart of Transylvania, Romania. This will be the first visit to Romania by Coventry Cathedral Choir, which has been invited to lead worship at the magnificent Lutheran Cathedral in Sibiu.
To help the Cathedral Choir on its travels all money raised by the Christmas Balloon Race will go to the Cathedral Choir. I encourage you to sponsor the Cathedral Choir with your own balloon in the Christmas Balloon Race. As a sponsor you can choose the colour of your balloon, name it whatever you will and once the Race starts you can follow your balloon each day to see how well it is doing.
The balloons will battle the wind and weather to travel the 1500 miles to Romania virtually, and the winning balloon will be the first to reach the Romanian village of Dacia. In that poor and remote village there is a Coventry Cross of Nails amidst an active teaching project to support the village children. The Dacia project was started by a social worker from Dresden supported by the German CCN.
The cost of sponsoring a balloon is £5, and the winning prize is £100. This eco-friendly, virtual Christmas Balloon Race is sponsored jointly by Michael Mogan O.B.E. and the Friends of Coventry Cathedral.
Getting hold of your balloon is easy.
Just log on to - https://www.balloonrace.net/focc
The race starts on Saturday 9th December 2023, so there are just a few days for you to buy your balloon. The Race ends two weeks later on Saturday 23rd December 2023 - just in time for Christmas Day!
During the race you will be able to follow your balloon as it flies over Sibiu’s Lutheran Cathedral. It will soar through the skies high above the rural villages of Biertan, Sighisoara, Visceri, and Dacia. Do not worry about the Transylvanian vampires – they do not really exist!
In 2024 the Choir will be singing in some of these ancient village churches. Uniquely in Europe, many village churches in Transylvania are surrounded by medieval fortifications. Walls and shelter were originally built around the churches to protect villagers from attack by bands of outlaws. In the event of an attack, the villagers could seek refuge behind the church walls.
You can enter as many balloons as you like, and you can name them for yourself or for other people. I named one of my balloons "The General" in the hope that he will charge to the front! Jane named hers in memory of our son, Stephen, who sang in the Cathedral Choir.
I AM ALWAYS on the lookout for Cathedral heritage treasures that can be shared.
In the past year a veritable treasure trove of historic Coventry photos has come to light. Amongst the finds is an amazing glass negative of St Michael’s Church taken c.1908 - ten years before the church was elevated to become Coventry Cathedral.
It is a real heritage treasure.
The glass negative picture of the old Cathedral is unusually clear and detailed. The original has now been carefully cleaned and after spending several days in the darkroom, the local photographer, Jason Tilley, produced a number of hand crafted prints. The Friends of Coventry Cathedral receives a commission on each sale. The price is £60.00 per print plus postage. Each print is mounted within a white mounting board (17 ½ ins x 19 ½ ins) so that it is ready for you to frame in a style to suit your own taste. Within the mount the picture size is 10ins x 12 ins.
I have discovered a little about the photographer. He was Ernest W Appleby, and his name is found on many vintage postcards and photos from the years both before and after 1900. Appleby came to Coventry from the Isle of Wight and he took over a photography studio in Hertford Street. He became a Coventry Councillor. He was the official photographer of the City Council as well as of Coventry City F.C. and his name appears in the annual reports of other local businesses and organisations. (If you know any more about him, please let me know.)
How to order
Orders for the heritage print can be placed either by post or by email to the Chairman of the Friends.
EMAIL: [email protected]
or POST: Martin R Williams, 63 Daventry Road, Coventry CV3 5DH
PAYMENT can be made by cheque or by cash or payment can be sent direct to the Friends’ bank whose details are:
Bank sort code: 40-18-17
a/c number: 80360244
a/c name: Friends of Coventry Cathedral
Branch identifier: HBUKGB4103V Please use the reference “PHOTO”.
Collection of your print from the Cathedral can also be arranged if you wish.