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Three Cathedrals in Coventry

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

The cathedrals in #Coventry present an interesting history. The first cathedral, founded pre-Conquest by the Earl Leofric of Mercia and his wife #LadyGodiva, became St Mary's Cathedral in 1140. With the #Dissolution of religious property by King #HenryVIII, #CoventryCathedral was the only existing cathedral to fall into disrepair and be torn down. Archeological work has revealed the foundation stones, all that remains of St Mary's.

Coventry churches were part of the diocese of Lichfield from 1539 to 1918. Following the First World War, Coventry was made a diocesan seat, and the medieval parish church of St Michael, up the hill from the old St Mary's, was selected as the cathedral. Coventry, with the Industrial Revolution, became a significant manufacturing city. In 1940 during a blitz attack by the German Luftwaffe the city saw major destruction, including St Michael. Perhaps a third of the exterior walls survived.

The city's Committee of Reconciliation began planning immediately for its rebuilding. The cornerstone was laid in 1956 with consecration of the new modern St Michael's in 1962. I find it a stunningly beautiful building, full of light and very spiritual.

When I visited Coventry, I arranged with local guide #RogerBailey who met me at the train station and we walked through the city noting both historical sites and contemporary acknowledgements such as the statue of Lady Godiva on the horse, as well as the peeping Tom in the mechanical clock tower. We also visited the splendid Holy Trinity Church and St Mary's Guild Hall on our way to the archeological dig. By the way, Jaguar is based in Coventry today.

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