History

Coventry and its iconic Cathedral Ruins are an international symbol for peace and reconciliation.

On 14 November 1940, nearly the entire city was destroyed in a German Blitz that reduced the city to rubble and left just the walls of the beautiful medieval cathedral standing. Coventry’s response was to seek for healing and reconciliation – the words ‘Father Forgive’ were inscribed on the walls of the Ruins. The city has used those events to inspire others to ‘move on’.

Over the years Coventry has formed links with others around the world that have suffered during times of war, such as Hiroshima, Warsaw, Belgrade and Sarajevo. With 26 twinned cities, we have the largest network of any city.

And today, the work for peace continues.

The Cathedral-based Community of the Cross of Nails works in 28 countries; Coventry University runs the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies; and the city hosts annual events such as Peace Month and Holocaust Memorial Day.

For more than 70 years, Coventry has stood a world leader in calling for peace and greater understanding between countries – work that continues through the International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation.

We are proud that we are seen as a role model for a city that has ‘moved on’ and equally proud of our Cathedral that many see as an icon for peace and reconciliation. Yet we want to use our influence beyond faith and wider than post conflict resolution.