Peace and Reconciliation
Welcome to our page of Peace and Reconciliation
Coventry’s Litany of Reconciliation
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Learning Challenge: The Stylised Cross of Nails
If you have ever visited the new Coventry Cathedral, you will have seen the original Cross of Nails within the stylised cross behind the high altar.
Many people recognise a bird shape and several associate this with the phoenix. Many of you will recognise the phoenix as a mythical bird that is able to die and regenerate. A good example is Fawkes from the Harry Potter series.
Think about Coventry’s story:
Q. Why would a phoenix be a good symbol to accompany the Cross of Nails?
Can you design your own stylised cross, incorporating the Cross of Nails? What symbol would you choose and why?
Learning challenge: The reconciliation statue
Have you seen the Reconciliation statue in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral.
This sculpture has come to represent what happens when two people are reconciled after conflict or a period of separation.
Reconciliation is ‘the restoration of friendly relations’ which means a return to friendship.
Look at the picture of the Reconciliation statue. Here are some things you might notice:
- The two people are on their knees- reconciliation takes humility!
- Their legs are far apart from each other, with their bodies and heads leaning in. This takes courage. As you lean towards the person you become off balance. Reconciliation only works if the other person meets you, also leaning in. Otherwise, you would fall flat. Reconciliation takes vulnerability and courage!
- The two heads are together, with hands embracing the head of the other. This represents the idea of listening to each other and accepting the other person’s story.
- The two bodies brought together look like a bridge. Reconciliation is like building a bridge between two people where there was once a divide that needed crossing.
Think about a time when you were reconciled with someone following a conflict (fight or fall out). What did it feel like?
How would you choose to represent ‘reconciliation’ if you were asked to create a sculpture?
Below, design your own Reconciliation statue showing your own understanding of what reconciliation looks like and how it feels.
Learning Challenge: Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of someone else.
How to show empathy:
- listen to someone rather than trying to talk to them, using the ratio of two ears and one mouth
- ask someone how they are feeling if you think there may be something troubling them or they may be in pain
- listen to their response and use your own experiences to open up a space in your heart to feel a similar feeling they are describing
- learn about people from different backgrounds and cultures so you can better understand them
- show concern and care for others in your words and actions
Activity 2: Empathy
Choose a character from a book or movie or someone you have seen on a news report. Complete the empathy map for them.
Learning Challenge: Discover Coventry’s Story and the Cross of Nails
Use the Coventry Cathedral website (below) to find out what happened to the cathedral during The Blitz in November 1940 and the origins of the Cross of Nails, a global symbol of peace and reconciliation.
Listen to the first 10 minutes of the Dean, The Very Revd John Witcombe, explaining our story on Youtube.
There are 5 tasks to complete for this activity.
1. What happened to the medieval cathedral of St Michael’s on the night of November 14th 1940?
2. Draw a picture of the ruined cathedral
3. What did Provost Howard write onto the wall of the ruined cathedral apse?
4. What did a local vicar pick up from the ruins to create a symbol of peace?
5. Draw a picture of the Cross of Nails