Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ex Cathedra

Out of Wales and back into England for a trip to Coventry Cathedral. This was destroyed in WWII by the Germans OOOOooooppsss not allowed to say that any longer, how politically incorrect of me . . . I mean by Enemy Action. A new cathedral was consecrated in 1962 and this was my first visit to it. I was rather impressed. It managed to not quite be a 50s monstrosity.

Both the old and new cathedrals are full of exceptionally twee prayers for peace and reconciliation, a concept that always makes me go crazy with violust. I don't know why, and I don't ask. I think it's the whole Rev. J. C. Flannel aspect of it all. Reminds me of school assembly.

I stood at the back of the new cathedral trying to remember the Lord's Prayer while giant speakers from the university opposite blasted Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama through the doors. I managed marginally better on the Lord's Prayer lyrics than the Sweet Home Alabama lyrics, but only just.

The preservation of the old cathedral includes this little gem of careless stewardship, and I think I'm beginning to detect a pattern in the antiquities here. Britain just isn't interested in old things any more. What's past is clearly past to them now.


carol said...

I know..hard to know what they do think is important sometimes

Roger said...

I can see your point about careless stewardship, but it's a balance between access and preservation. Actually Coventry's attention has moved from the newish 14th C ruin to the older, original Abbey that was a bit to the north. We've also got an exciting doom painting in the nearby Holy Trinity church which was thought lost due to earlier preservation attempts. During some work to strenghten the supports for the spire the 'preserving' varnish was found to be more removeable than had been thought. What we have now is a great 'folk' depiction of the last judgement.
Another local marvel is the Rollright Stones these have suffered an attack by a religious nitwit but are cared for by what seems to be a voluntary trust of the sort of peole who care about these things ( a bit like you and me I think). They seem to manage a lot with scant resources.

Peromyscus said...

Interesting link, thank, Roger. We did notice that the volunteers were doing a great job wherever we went. Preservation is one of those things where you really have to personally care in order to get things done, and luckily there are all sorts of people who do want to do that sort of work.


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