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"Our hearts go out to all Parisians"
16/04/19

In the aftermath of the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Bishop of Coventry has sent letters of love and support to the Archbishop of Paris and the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom.

To the Archbishop of Paris, Bishop Christopher wrote:

"I bring you greetings from the Diocese of Coventry, Church of England, in the name of our suffering Lord, Jesus Christ.

I write from a City and Diocese whose beloved Cathedral was destroyed by fire during the Second World War, so we have watched the flames engulf the Cathedral of Notre-Dame with hearts that know something of the tragedy that you are experiencing.

Please know that our prayers are with you, your clergy, all the faithful and all the people of Paris – indeed, the whole of France.  With others throughout the world, our commemorations during this Holy Week will have special poignancy as we remember your sufferings and the way you now find yourselves being brought very near to the cross of Christ.

After the fire that destroyed our Cathedral, and the rebuilding of the Cathedral and the renewal of our life and ministry that took place by the grace of God, we discovered afresh the power of the resurrection.  That is our prayer for you – that even this Easter, especially this Easter, you will know the presence of the risen Christ and strength of God’s mighty love that nothing can overcome.

The Dean of Coventry has sent out several messages through the Cathedral’s Facebook account which can also be viewed on the website:  www.coventrycathedral.org.uk and he will be in personal contact with the Rector of Notre Dame. He joins me and the whole of the Diocese of Coventry in sending to you our love in the crucified and risen Christ."

Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom

To the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom, Bishop Christopher wrote:

"With millions of people across the world I watched in horror as the great Cathedral of Notre-Dame burned with such ferocity.

For people of Coventry – and across the whole Diocese of Coventry – the scenes evoked images with which we are very familiar when our own Cathedral was destroyed by fire during the Second World War.

Our hearts go out to all Parisians and to the whole of France. We know something of your experience of tragedy and loss. We pray that over time you will know something of our experience of hope and new life, togetherness and common purpose that rose from the ashes of despair. That is the Easter Faith for which Notre Dame will remain an enduring symbol, perhaps even more in the years to come than in the years that are now past.

With solidarity in your sufferings and prayers for your nation from the Diocese of Coventry,

+Christopher, Bishop of Coventry"