Coventry Cathedral was the background for a special Ecumenical Choral Evensong this week, as Christians from across the Midlands and further afield united in a time of prayer and reflection for the Holy Land. The service took place on Wednesday, 21 September 2022, the UN International Day of Peace. The service organized by the charity, Friends of the Holy Land with the particular help of the Canon for Arts and Reconciliation, the Revd Canon Mary Gregory.
The Bishop of Coventry, Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth gave a homily during the service reflecting on the importance of praying for peace for the Holy Land and how Jesus' call for peace came as he modeled that value from his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Christopher encouraged the congregation to pray for all mothers whose children are caught up in conflict.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, The Most Revd Bernard Longley, a Patron of the work of Friends of the Holy Land, led the congregation in prayer and invited those present to pledge themselves to the work of reconciliation.
Among the attendees at the service were the Deputy Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Jaswant Birdi and his wife, the Mayor of Kenilworth, Cllr Samantha Cooke along with fellow Councillor Richard Dickson and many other supporters of the work of Friends of the Holy Land.
As part of the Cathedral's commitment to furthering the importance of making people aware of the work of Friends of the Holy Land, a special exhibition known as 50 Faces is also on display in the Nave of Coventry Cathedral until Sunday. The exhibition brings story and voice to those currently living in the Holy Land.
Reflecting on the service, Brendan Metcalfe, Executive Director of Friends of the Holy Land said: "Being in Coventry Cathedral for this Ecumenical Service is special as this place brings the importance of praying and working for reconciliation for our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land into sharp focus. The font in the Cathedral comes from a hillside in the Holy Land and is available for all to see.
The message of the service this week is how the church in the UK keeps up its efforts in making the plight of those friends in the Holy Land on the agenda, when much of our media has turned away its focus. Knowing that Christians are praying is important and this needs to be done in a united way as we believe for change for our brothers and sisters who pray for the peace of Jerusalem every day. We are most grateful to the Dean and Chapter of Coventry Cathedral for their support and for the personal participation of Bishop Christopher Cocksworth and Archbishop Bernard Longley."