• Short Summary

    ON THE NIGHT OF NOVEMBER THE 14TH 1940, ONE OF BRITAIN'S MOST HISTORIC CHURCHES, COVENTRY CATHEDRAL, WAS REDUCED TO RUINS DURING A MOONLIGHT AIR-RAID BY 450 GERMAN BOMBERS.

  • Description

    ON THE NIGHT OF NOVEMBER THE 14TH 1940, ONE OF BRITAIN'S MOST HISTORIC CHURCHES, COVENTRY CATHEDRAL, WAS REDUCED TO RUINS DURING A MOONLIGHT AIR-RAID BY 450 GERMAN BOMBERS.

    THE CATHEDRAL HAD STOOD ON ITS SITE SINCE MEDIEVAL TIMES. IT TOOK ONE OF THE HEAVIEST SINGLE AIR-RAIDS OF THE WAR TO DESTROY IT. DURING THE RAID THE GERMAN BOMBERS POURED DOWN 500 TONS OF EXPLOSIVES AND 900 CANISTERS OF INCENDIARY BOMBS. THE RAID LASTED THEN HOURS. IT KILLED 554 PEOPLE AND RAZED 5,500 HOUSES, SHOPS, OFFICES AND OTHER BUILDINGS.

    IN 1955 WORK WAS STARTED ON THE NEW COVENTRY CATHEDRAL, PLANNED AS A TOKEN OF CHRISTIAN RECONCILIATION. AMONG THE FIRST PEOPLE TO OFFER ASSISTANCE WERE THE GERMANS, AND YOUNG GERMANS CAME TO BRITAIN AND HELPED RECONSTRUCT THE OLD VESTRIES AND BUILD A NEW 'INTERNATIONAL CENTRE'. THIS VOLUNTARY LABOUR WAS CALLED 'OPERATION RECONCILIATION'. THE YOUNG GERMANS ALSO HELPED BUILD THE CHAPEN OF UNITY, EMBODY AID GIVEN BY MANY COUNTRIES. GERMAN EVANGELICAL CHURCHES CONTRIBUTED GBP5,000 TO HELP PAY FOR THE CHAPEL WINDOWS.

    SWEDEN'S GIFT WAS A MOSAIC FLOOR IN THE UNITY CHAPEN AND FIVE LARGE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS. THE FLOOR WAS MADE OF 100,000 PIECES OF MARBLE FROM MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH LAY THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE NEW CATHEDRAL IN 1956, AND MADE A TOUR OF THE RUINS OF THE OLD CHURCH.

    A WROUGHT IRON SCREEN, REPRESENTING A CROWN OF THORNS, MARKS THE ENTRANCE TO THE CHAPEN OF CHRIST OF GETHSEMANE. IT WAS DESIGNED BY THE ARCHITECT OF THE CATHEDRAL, SIR BASIL SPENSE, AND CONSTRUCTED BY BRITISH ARMY ENGINEERS.

    BEHIND THE SCREEN IS A MOSAIC DEPICTING AN ANGEL APPEARING TO CHRIST IN THE GARDEN.

    THE WORLDS'S LARGEST TAPESTRY -- DESIGNED BY GRAHAM SUTHERLAND AND WOVEN AT FELLETIN IN CENTRAL FRANCE -- TAKES THE PLACE OF THE TRADITIONAL HEREDOS AND EAST WINDOW BEHIND THE HIGH ALTAR. IT DEPICTS 'CHRIST IN GLORY', AND COVERS THE WALL OF THE LADY CHAPEL. CHRIST IS WITH A LION, A DULL, AN EAGLE AND AN ANGEL - REPRESENTING THE FOUR EVANGELISTS.

    IT ALSO SHOWS CHRIST AS A MAN AND THE CRUCIFIXION.

    THE WINDOWS OF THE CATHEDRAL ARE DESIGNED TO THROW THEIR LIGHT FORWARD TOWARDS THE HIGH ALTAR.

    THE CATHEDRAL PORCH LINKS THE NEW CATHEDRAL WITH THE RUINS OF THE OLD. TO THE RIGHT OF THE PORCH ENTRANCE IS A BRONZE SCULPTURE, SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, THE WORK OF THE LATE SIR JACOB EPSTEIN.

    THE FOUNDATION STONE FOR THE NEW CATHEDRAL WAS LAID BY QUEEN ELIZABETH IN 1956. SHE RETURNED TO COVENTRY ON MAY 25, 1962. FOR ITS CONSECRATION.

    THE FINAL JOB ON THE CATHEDRAL REQUIRED THE SERVICES OF A HELICOPTER -- TO ERECT THE SPIRE. THE SPIRE, METAL OPEN-WORK, GIVES THE BUILDING A SYMBOLIC SENSE OF NEW ASPIRATION.

    THE NEW CATHEDRAL WAS PURPOSELY DESIGNED WITHOUT A TOWER. THE TOWER OF THE ORIGINAL CATHEDRAL STILL STANDS INTACT NEARBY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA191WNXD2K5OVS559ZSY3ODPGN
    Media URN:
    VLVA191WNXD2K5OVS559ZSY3ODPGN
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    11/11/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:04:03:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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