Coventry Cathedral sends hopeful message to Notre Dame after tragic fire - The Solihull Observer

Coventry Cathedral sends hopeful message to Notre Dame after tragic fire

Solihull Editorial 16th Apr, 2019   0

COVENTRY Cathedral has sent an emotional message of support to Paris following news of the tragic fire at the iconic Notre Dame cathedral.

Last night’s devastating fire threatened to consume the towering French landmark with firefighters fighting through the night to preserve its structure.

The Dean of Coventry Reverend John Whitcombe likened the situation to the obliteration of Coventry Cathedral after the Blitz in 1940.

He also drew comparisons to a fire which was thankfully brought under control at the city cathedral in 2001 before it caused irreparable damage.

He said: “Our hearts go out to our sisters and brothers in the cathedral and civic community in Paris.

“To see the roof of your beloved Cathedral brings to mind our own destruction in 1940, in the terrible years of war.

“And more recently in 2001 we were again threatened with fire, though not with destruction.

“You will feel that your heart has been taken from you, but God still holds your life in his hands, and will give you grace to rebuild, as he did for us.

“For now, though, your grief will be inconsolable and our hearts and our prayers are with you from this city and this community.

“We continue to pray for all of those involved.”

One of the great European architectural treasures, construction of the Gothic marvel began in the 12th Century and it has become a symbol of French history and culture.

The great structure was under renovation and authorities have not ruled out the disastrous fire being linked to the works.

Horrified Parisians and tourists watched on as the fire – which started at 6pm last night – refused to be vanquished well into the early hours this morning.

Many united in song at the foot of the burning cathedral, videos showed, and it is believed firefighters now have the blaze under control – although how much of the cathedral remains is yet to be confirmed.

Images of the cathedral’s spire toppling into ash circulated on social media drawing international expressions of consolation.

Coventry Cathedral’s Twitter account later posted an image of a cross shining over the charred remains of the great building.

It said: “We find this haunting image of a cross still shining brightly in a smouldering Notre-Dame Cathedral incredibly moving. “We cannot help but think of our own Charred Cross, found in the Ruins on the 15th of November 1940 – a symbol of grave destruction, but also one of hope.”


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