Most of the great ruined churches of England are the outcome of the violence of an eariler age, the dissolution of the monasteries or religious wars. But the ruins of St. Michael's Cathedral, Coventry, are the consequence of the violence of the twentieth century.
On the night of Thursday, November 14, 1940, the Luftwaffe headed for Coventry in what was codenamed "Operation Moonlight Sonata." The raid devasted the city as it burned, its cathedral burning with it. A total of 568 people lost their lives that night.
After the war an extraordinary decision was made: the cathedral would not be rebuilt. The ruins would remain and a new cathedral would be constructed beside it. The remains of the destroyed cathedral would be used as an entry to the new cathedral.
It is in this spirit that a partial stone wall was constructed behind the altar of St. Paul's Coventry Chapel with three Gothis style window frames (from the construction of the new chapel at St. Paul's). The 'ruins' of the Coventry Chapel serve as a reminder that "out of human sin and brokenness, God always brings hope, new life and a new start." It is in that spirit of renewal that our Coventry Chapel at St. Paul's has been constructed.
Coventry Chapel houses a columbarium where ashes of parishioners are placed in containers or scattered in the garden by the fountain. There is also a full labyrinth.