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Ascension Day at St Mark's, Coventry
Phil and Rachel Atkinson with Bishop Christopher.

On Ascension Day 2017 a small group from St Mark's, Coventry and diocesan staff gathered together with Bishop Christopher in the soon-to-be restored St Mark's Church for an Ascension Day Eucharist and the licensing of Phil Atkinson as vicar.

This was the first Eucharist to take place in the church for 45 years. The church closed in 1972, however it will be opening up its doors to worshippers again in the autumn of this year as it becomes a City Centre Resource Church.

The Ascension Day Eucharist was particularly poignant as the small congregation worshipped directly in front of the powerful Ascension mural. The famous mural was painted by German Jewish artist, Hans Feibusch in 1963. Feibusch was working at St Mark's in the early 1960's when he was commissioned by the Church Council to paint the mural behind the altar to replace a stained glass window that was damaged in the war. The mural depicts Christ ascending up into heaven surrounded by saints and angels. St Mark, with the Lion, and St Barnabas are painted in the bottom left corner. 

During a short sermon, Bishop Christopher talked about St Mark's being part of the story of Coventry - the new rising out of the old. We pray for Phil and Rachel Atkinson and the team at St Mark's as they restore and resurrect the church ready for it to become a new Christian community later this year.