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Hiroshima Day at Coventry Cathedral

On Monday 6th August at 6pm, there will be a service of reflection at Coventry Cathedral to remember the devastation caused by the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

The service will be led by the Canon Sarah Hills, Director of Reconciliation and International Ministry at Coventry Cathedral. The Lord Mayor of Coventry will attend as well as Minister Plenipotentiary Takashi Okada from the Embassy of Japan. Coventry poet, Anthony Owens, will read one of his poems and Asako Kawahara, a student from Hiroshima, will read the story of Sadako Sasaki - a young girl affected by the Hiroshima bomb - with Mary Goodwin and Rex Satchwell.

The Hiroshima Day planning team are very proud to welcome Keiko Holmes, founder of the charity Agape World, to give a reflection during the service. Since 1988, Agape World has fostered reconciliation between Far East Prisoners of War and their families and the people of Japan. Keiko has visited ex-prisoners of war and their families all over the world. Agape World has arranged for about 500 people to have a Agape pilgrimage of reconciliation to Japan.

A memorial has been held in Coventry for Hiroshima Day every year since 1987. The two cities have developed a friendship over the years with messages exchanged between the Lord Mayor of Coventry and the Mayor of Hiroshima.

The service, which is suitable for those of all faiths and none, will include prayers and reflective silence. After hearing the story of Sadako Sasaki, the congregation will join together to make Japanese origami cranes of peace. At 7pm the service will finish and there will be soft drink refreshments and a chance to talk to those present.

The Dean of Coventry, the Very Reverend John Witcombe says;

“The annual marking of Hiroshima Day is a very important part of our life here in the Cathedral, and especially in the Chapel of Unity with its focus on reconciliation. It is always immensely moving to gather representatives of what were deeply divided communities to remember the horrors of war and to pledge ourselves again to the pursuit of peace. I am very pleased that this service is hosted by the Lord Mayor’s Peace committee, which means that it truly belongs to all citizens of Coventry, and all are most welcome.”

We look forward to welcoming you for this special service.

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