On May 4th, 2017, the Archbishop gave a very moving welcoming speech to all in attendance which included Muslims, Christians and Jews of all different denominations. He spoke of how once this type of a gathering can be replicated on a larger scale that it will be helpful to both sides. The ability to unite in celebration of our differences is a spiritual goal for the 21st century.
I had the privilege of meeting with the Archbishop of Centerbury Justin Welby. I spoke with him about Praying Together in Jerusalem and he indicated his support for our work. He then recommended that I speak with his Adviser for Reconciliation, Canon Sarah Snyder who told me about the progress of the Cross of Nails Project.
The story of the Cross of Nails is one of reconciliation and hope. Following the destruction of Coventry Cathedral in 1940, Provost Dick Howard made a commitment not to seek revenge, but to strive for forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible. The words “Father Forgive” were inscribed on the wall of the ruined chancel and two charred beams which had fallen in the shape of a cross were bound and placed on an altar of rubble. Three medieval nails were formed into a cross, and the Cross of Nails quickly became a potent sign of friendship and hope in the post war years, especially in new relationships with Germany and the developing links between Coventry and the cities of Kiel, Dresden and Berlin. They now have an initiative called ICONS, International Cross of Nails Schools, which provides a resource for children and young people to creatively explore issues of truth, justice, peace and mercy.