Coventry & Shakespeare

Earlier this week, our group went to visit Coventry Cathedral. It is an amazing place. During WWII, the city of Coventry was just about obliterated. The goal of the Nazi’s (in addition to disrupting industrial output) was to cause so much destruction there that the people would be discouraged from rebuilding. Certainly Coventry grieved, but instead of being demoralized, the people resolved that after the war, they would extend a hand of fellowship to Germany. The focus on reconciliation, unity, and peace at Coventry is exemplified in this Cathedral of St. Michael. The ruins of the earlier cathedral (built by Lady Godiva and her husband) were incorporated into the design of the new. The theme of unity and reconciliation is seen throughout the site. It was very moving. To see some pictures (by far inferior to seeing it firsthand, I’m afraid), check out: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=48267&l=7f921&id=500823168 It seems to me that peace-making is a lot more difficult than our culture seems to realize. I love how Coventry acknowledges those difficulties while still advocating peace’s ultimate necessity.

After our visit to Coventry, we drove over to Anne Hathaway’s family home. Anne Hathaway, of course, was Shakespeare’s wife. She was 26 when they married; he was only 18. It would’ve been fairly scandalous, not so much because she was 3 months pregnant at the time, but because he was so young. The Hathaway home was where Anne would’ve grown up, though it would’ve been significantly smaller when she was a child. Shortly after her father’s death, her brother expanded it, I think to its present dimensions. It was in continuous use until 1912, I think.

After that, we went to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare’s birthplace and grave. It is a sweet town, kept that way for the tourists, I think. We had plenty of time there to enjoy various tea shops and other things. It was a delightful place. Shakespeare donated substantially to the Church of the Holy Trinity there. He and his family were accorded a special place of honor, being buried quite close to the altar. The graveyard surrounding the church was also a beautiful place. The church is now constantly in need of repair, and has fallen on hard times as its number of parishioners has steadily decreased. It felt very strange to be in a small place like that, and to think about how Shakespeare’s immense influence came from it.

To see pictures of those visits, go to: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=48296&l=2da6c&id=500823168

I think that was our last excursion trip as a group, which is a little sad, but understandable. We’ll still have plenty of local activities, I think.

I apologize for waiting so long to post these. I hope you all are doing well.

Lots of love…

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