At the beginning of November, the new Bishop of Coventry, Bishop Christopher, will be installed in Coventry Cathedral and for a week in mid-October, he cycled around the Diocese, acquainting himself with some of the parishes and the geography of his new home.
One of the stops he made on his first day of cycling was at St Nicholas church, to look at the devastation left by the fire, and to pray for us as a community. His words of encouragement and hope for the future were heartfelt, and I pass them on to you to encourage all of us as a community.
Do pray for him as he takes up the reigns of the Diocese, with many challenges ahead – he is praying for us.
Not much has happened since I last wrote, and the church lies under its now-mended plastic shroud, awaiting decisions from the many different bodies that will be part of the rebuilding process.
The Structural Engineer has completed a thorough survey of the church ruins, and has sent this to the architect and Quantity Surveyor to begin the work of assessing the costs of reinstatement – a requirement of the Insurance Company.
Alongside this, the Diocese have been discussing reports submitted to them about the significance of the church in our community and our hopes for the future, and an archaeological survey has also been completed. Representatives from English Heritage, the Victorian Society, and the Council for the Care of Churches have all been part of these discussions, and their recommendations and support will mean we can then to move on to the next stage.
Having said this, some of these decisions could take a few months to make, as they have to be done carefully and responsibly, as you would expect.
But the church continues to worship in the Community Hall, for which we are very grateful, and a couple of things coming up need special mention.
Service of Remembrance – November 11th
Over the last three years, we have held a special service in the church on Armistice Day, and this year we plan to do the same, except it will be in the Community Hall.
We are holding our monthly Communion service at 10.30am on November 11th for anyone to come to – it will include an act of Remembrance with the names from the war memorial read, and a time of silence at 11.00am, and the laying of wreaths. Do please join us, and stay for refreshments once the service is finished.
Christmas – Carol Service – December 21st
One of the highlights of the Christmas programme is Carols by Candlelight. Without a church and the physical facility we had there for a candlelit service, we are planning a carol service on December 21st at 6.30pm in the Community Hall. However, we are inviting people to congregate at St Nicholas church at 6.00pm, and walk through the village in a lantern-lit procession, singing carols. Do join us for the procession and service – it promises to be a memorable moment in this year’s celebrations.
With my best wishes,
Rev Martin Green