Rev Canon Dr Sarah Hills writes about the close ties between the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, near to the site of the Berlin lorry attack, and Coventry Cathedral.
We are very troubled to hear of the attack close to our friends, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the heart of Berlin. They have been a partner to our community for many years, and we share a long history of rebuilding hope from destruction. In their church hangs a picture drawn during the siege of Stalingrad, of the Madonna and Child, a copy of which is displayed in our cathedral. They gave us this as a symbol of our unity and friendship. In turn, they have a Coventry Cross of Nails in their Sanctuary. We pray for them at this difficult time: for healing of bodies and relationships; for those who have died and those who are bereaved; and for the Church’s ministry of Reconciliation.
In the wake of the attack, my visit to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in January will take on a new and special significance. This occasion will mark the 30th anniversary of their partnership in the Community of the Cross of Nails, based at Coventry Cathedral, and now, also, the long road we all have to travel to build peace and reconciliation.
The Community of the Cross of Nails was founded in the wake of the Second World War to be a network of partners around the world working for peace and reconciliation in their own contexts. We have over 200 partners across seven continents that join together to work towards three goals: healing the wounds of history; learning to live with difference and celebrate diversity; and building a culture of peace.
In times like these, in the wake of violence and atrocities, the continued commitment of the Community of the Cross of Nails to working and praying for peace and reconciliation is vital. Today we pray with partners around the world for all affected by this terrible incident. As members of the Community of the Cross of Nails we are joined together through the Litany of Reconciliation. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church joins us in praying this daily at midday. Our hearts go out to them all. Father Forgive.
Rev Canon Dr Sarah Hills is Canon for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral