28th Jun, 2022

Bishop and Lord Mayor in visit to celebrate historic connection between Coventry and Dresden

Felix Nobes 22nd Feb, 2019

THE LORD MAYOR and Bishop of Coventry paid a visit to Dresden, Germany, to mark the anniversary of an historic connection between the two cities.

Coventry and Dresden both rose from the ashes of Second World War bombings to be recognised as global cities of peace and reconciliation.

The Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth and the Lord Mayor Councillor John Blundell visited Germany on an official delegation.

They were recognising the 60th anniversary of the formal link established in 1959 when Coventry and Dresden became twinned cities.

Just over four years after Coventry was bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940, the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces dropped more than 3900 tons of bombs on Dresden.

As rebuilding began after the war, young people were sent from Coventry Cathedral to reconstruct the Diakonissen Hospital in Dresden.

In turn, young people from Dresden’s Churches ventured to Coventry to repair the crypt of the cathedral ruins.

Coventry and Dresden were both devastated. Yet rather than turn to thoughts of anger and revenge, in the post-war years the two cities sought reconciliation and friendship and formed the connection.

As part of the visit Bishop Christopher presented a Cross of Nails to the Busmannkapelle, a church rebuilt as a symbol against war and destruction.

The bishop attended a ‘human-chain’ event to commemorate the destruction of the city in 1945 and preached at the Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) at an Ecumencial Peace Service to mark the 60th Anniversary.

Bishop Christopher’s in his sermon said: “My friends, you know that I come to you from a divided country where some want to leave the European Union, to divide from our neighbours and partners, some want to remain in the EU and honour the covenant we once made, and some are really not very sure what they want.

“In the debates over recent months – indeed over many years – in my own country the question has almost always been what is best for us, rather than what is best for them, or what is best for us together?

“True and lasting peace comes as we speak up for what is good for the other person.”

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