On the hottest day of the year so far (21st June), a contingent from Coventry & Warwickshire travelled to Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to meet the Archbishop and to hear the urgent need for additional funding for Coventry Cathedral. The group included the Bishop and Dean of the Cathedral and numerous members of the clergy at Coventry, with the Mayor and former Mayors of Coventry, and many supporters, donors and business personalities from the city. Also included in the group were the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Victor Keene, Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro John Hayward, and a number of Coventry freemasons with interests in the Cathedral.
VW Bro Victor Keene approaching Lambeth Palace
The presentation commenced with an introduction from the Dean of Coventry outlining the needs of the Cathedral, followed by an inspirational address from the Archbishop, who clearly has a great affection for Coventry having spent a number of years of his vocation there before becoming head of the Church of England.
The appeal on behalf of Coventry Cathedral is known as "Investors in Hope" and is founded on the basis that:
"Coventry Cathedral is an extraordinary place, dedicated to inspiring and bringing reconciliation, hope and peace. The organisation is looking for some extraordinary people, committed to supporting this iconic place, and enabling the inspirational work to continue and flourish in the years ahead."
Coventry Cathedral is firmly rooted in the real world. Because the real world is often unforgiving, the inspirational presence offered by the Cathedral, together with the work and witness that flow from it, are in constant demand. But the world is also unforgiving materially and financially. Even a building as evocative and much-loved as this faces maintenance concerns and money worries.
These issues are now coming to a head – which is why the Cathedral is looking for some very special people who are being called Coventry Cathedral’s "Investors in Hope".
The need is for an additional £200,000 each year to enable them simply to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the work and witness alive. To help us sustain their vital work month in, month out, they are inviting "Investors in Hope" to join the committed giving scheme.
The evening presentation at Lambeth Palace was completed by a Compline – the final service of the day – personally conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who thanked everyone individually for their presence.
The interior of Lambeth Palace Chapel
Turning to Warwickshire, a choral evensong service was held in Coventry Cathedral in October 2015, and a further service is planned later this year. This follows recent meetings and exchange of views between Freemasonry in Warwickshire and the clergy at Coventry Cathedral. The Provincial Grand Master and VW Bro Victor Keene have both been involved in these discussions, and the Province, via the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association, has pledged an initial £5000. The Provincial Charity Steward is discussing matching this amount via the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
Detailed information on Coventry Cathedral can be seen on their website here and full details of Investors in Hope can be seen here