High Sheriff News

75th Coventry BLITZ Commemoration


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A Human chain of Light and Peace gathered in front of the Cathedral and observed a 2min silence. which was followed by the some recordings from the ‘Moonlight Sonata’, the name given to the Blitz by the german forces.  This was because the attack was planned for midnight on the 14th November when the moon was bright.

The large crowd held their torches and phone lights to pay homage to the city and its is peoples who suffered that fateful night, but began to rebuild in the years to come following the conclusion of the war.  A VIP group included the Duke of Kent and sister city representatives from Dresden, Cork, Czech Republic and China who were addressed by Lord Bishop Cocksworth and Mayor Michael Hammon. The Cathedral was lit in red, blue and white in support of France as it comes to terms with the overnight news of violence.

A short film of the’Moonlight Sonata’

BBC News report from the event is here

The group moved from outside into the warmth of the cathedral  IMG_3627 where they were able to purchase commerative special edition prints  by John Piper of the interior and exterior of the cathedral.

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The Dean, the very reverend John Witcombe welcomed everyone who had come to the commemoration concert.  Before the concert began the performers and the congregation were silent in recognition of the atrocities that had taken place the night before in Paris.

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The concert of wonderfully emotional music from Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers was performed by the English Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Paul Leddington-Wright, performed by the Saint Michael’s Singers, The Parliament Choir and soloists Helen-Jane Howells, Anna Stephany, Matthew Minter and Benjamin Bevan.


Earlier in the evening the Duke of Kent, who is patron of the Dresden Trust was introduced to a special exhibition at The Herbert Art Gallery by Monica Petzal – Indelible Marks.

Down stairs the VIP group viewed The Herbert’s  wealth of cultural artefacts that capture the city’s history and international relationships.

IMG_3596   IMG_3601  Concrete sign from a runway from a german airfield which British soldiers removed in 1944 and returned to Coventry as part of the rebuilding process.

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IMG_3612During the event the Lord Bishop Cocksworth presented The Duke of Kent two of John Pier’s special edition prints to commemorate the night. The High Sheriff discussed the developing bid for City of Culture with Chairman David Burbidge OBE DL. It is very appropriate that Coventry constructs a strong integrated and inclusive bid from the city that rightly prides itself as the city of Peace and Reconciliation.

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