THIS WAS COVENTRY | (See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE)
I am in Leicester today so do please pray for me. Thanks
THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
SO DO CHECK BACK-MEANWHILE :
Coventry and its city centre present the two things it is famous for even today. First the nakedness of Lady and secondly, the shell of a the bombed out Cathedral emblazoned with the Words – Father Forgive.
Let’s let Wikipedia deal with the first one when it says: ‘Godiva (Old English: Godgifu, ‘god gift’), often referred to as Lady Godiva (fl. 1040–1070), was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The name ‘Peeping Tom’ for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom had watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.
Secondly, on November 14th 1941, in one night, the first concentrated Nazi air raid destroyed or damaged about 60,000 buildings in the centre of Coventry, and is known to have killed 568 civilians. The raid reached such a new level of destruction that Joseph Goebbels later used the term Coventriert (“Coventrated”) when describing similar levels of destruction of other enemy towns. During the raid, the Germans dropped about 500 tonnes of high explosives, including 50 parachute air-mines, of which 20 were incendiary petroleum mines, and 36,000 incendiary bombs. The shell of the burnt out Cathedral still stands today as testimony to this awful destruction.
I was awake by 5:00am this morning and finishing my journaling. Breakfast was at 8:00am with a repeat of yesterday’s communal small talk, however, the bacon and eggs were good!
I finished off my emails, packed, loaded up and was on the road by 10:10am. Coventry was not too far away. On the way in I contacted the Cathedral and spoke with the PA to the Dean, who was very helpful. She would get back to me.
My Sat Nav miraculously took me directly to the Cathedral. The ruins looked magnificent but the once new post WWII structure of a Cathedral which was designed to be connected to it looked thoroughly awful.
I was still waiting for the PA to get back to me. Remaining in mu illegally parked car then, I called the local Jesus Army Centre and spoke with a geezer called Piers. Now, my wife Bridget’s brother is associate with Jesus Army and I have always been impressed by their dedication and so I really wanted to have an interview from them to add to the rest I had gathered on this tour and so I was delighted when Piers said I could both visit and interview him and thenspeak at the drop in centre at 2:30pm from the 55th book of the Bible which was 2nd Timothy. Now, no sooner had I put the phone down when it rang and hanging off the end was the guy I was staying with tonight.
Peter worked for the Barnabas fund which, can you Adam and Eve it, was literally adjacent to the Cathedral and not 50 yards in front of me. Peter immediately came to see me and of course, I immediately interviewed him.
Being warned of hungry parking attendant sharks, I moved the motor down into the Cathedral parking space and popped in to the visitors centre to inform them who I was and what I had done. They understood, and having put my name on the inside windscreen of the car, I walked over to the Barnabas centre for the official tour and coffee. When I get off this tour, there is no doubt that I will go into withdrawal as I cut down on my Caffeine intake
The Barnabas fund are doing a phenomenal work and I was particularly interested in finding out that I had been probably eating Imam blessed Hallal meat in Maccy D’s! Another story for another day, but check this out a little.
Now considering that just about all of Coventry City Centre is less than fifty years old, I had expected to find, horrible 1950’s and 1960’s concrete high rises and you know they are there, BUT, Coventry is one of the nicest city centres I have seen. They have made an excellent job of making Mutton look like Lamb. The Nero’s was a cool circular shape as well. Though for some reason I could not get access to the internet? Anyhoo, whilst I was there the PA to the Dean called back and YES, I could park my car (phew) and YES I would be welcome to speak from the 55th Book of the Bible to any warm bodies I could find, in both the ruins and the new Cathedral. How nice was that. So I told them I would be there around 3:30pm.
I arrived at the Jesus army centre for 2:15 on the dot and was greeted by Piers. I think those who have taken the MASSIVE step of entering into Community with the Jesus Army have in effect entered a modern day monastic order, living by certain sacrificial and servant heart ‘rules of life’. This band of monastic brethren then, were reaching out and serving the city community very well indeed. I had a great and thoughtful, even educational interview with PIERS. After the grand tour of course!
I have to say, that with my experience of homeless people, the poor and the addicted on the streets of Britain, Jesus Army seem to be the only people I personally can credit with ‘success’ in terms of journeying with broken redeemed people as they move into wholeness. I think their ‘rule of life’ leads them to such a sacrificial sharing that the consequent openness of their family life somehow fosters acceptance, respect and growth. It’s not without tears of course. Indeed, though the centre was opened by a homeless man who later came to faith in Jesus, he was later murdered by other homeless folk for not a great deal of money which he was carrying on him at the time. The small chapel in the Jesus Centre has two books of remembrance documenting some 50 deaths of people personally known to them over the last ten years.
It was great to share with some of the folks of the Jesus Army drop in Centre, some of the final thoughts of an ex con called Paul, who was about to kick the bucket himself. And he knew it. Last words spoken are very important words.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
I hope you are blessed as well
I spent some time after chatting with some folks and got a tip from an Evangelist that I should really remember people’s names. I wish I could! Anyhoo, I had to get on back to the Cathedral.
My free parking space was still available and I was looking forward to seeing inside and going inside what appeared to be a veritable monstrosity. The architect described his building I believe as a ‘Plain box with Jewels inside’. I need to tell you now that he was so right and I was so wrong.
On this tour thus far, there have only been two Cathedrals where I have been emotionally overcome and this was one of them. The Cathedral seems to contain a ‘visiting presence.’ The architecture is beautiful, the space is massive, the Word of God is everywhere, write large. Coventry Cathedral is filled with Jewels and most of them have a spiritual quality about them. I just loved it.
I found the spot where I wanted to speak from 2nd Timothy and though ‘Organist Number 4’ was practicing on the inter-galactic instrument, the head verger was kind enough to have her desist for five minutes or so, so that my words could be heard and a recording made.
One of the staff recorded the Mediation and I hope you are blessed.
Now, immediately after this, I went to thank the Organist and of course, to ask her for an interview.
Of course, I could not resist recording her musical interpretation of this Sundays Bible reading at the Cathedral and she very kindly, obliged in playing it for me. So here it is
I got back to my car and did some work, and then arrived at Peter and his wife’s house in time for Spagbol. Loveley jubbly. Later, they were off to a Bible study and I was off to the local Maccy D’s to catch up on some study and make some calls. Tomorrow I was going to be staying with some very old, old friends in Derby, and touch based with them to check on my Saturday night ETA. In addition to this, I had made contact with a vicar in Leicester who took care of a few city centre churches. I was going to be meeting with him at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
Maccy D’s was a bit mental tonight. Maybe it was because it was bonfire night and the fireworks were filling the air, but the little kids were painted up, hyped up and screeching. I hate screeching. A couple of teenagers were trying to stick their tongues in each other’s ears behind me and none of this was conducive to study. Even so, I persevered for a couple of hours over yet another cup of coffee.
I got back to the house around 9:40pm and by 10:30pm, I was tucked up in bed asleep. I was knackered. I was too tired to think about what tomorrow would bring.
P.S. I used to own a Hillman Avenger. It was rubbish but it grieved my heart when I got rid of my Rover 700 series. Also, the Specials are one of my top bands, with far too many hits to put up here. But if you like ‘2 Tone Ska’….enjoy!
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