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John Whitcombe, Rector of Coventry Cathedral, with Bishop Todd and St. Paul's Rector Kevin George

By Rev. Stephanie Donaldson

On April 27, 2024, the Diocese of Huron gathered at Cathedral Church of St. Paul for a very special service of Holy Eucharist with Bishop Todd celebrating. Our guest, Very Rev. John Whitcombe, Rector of Coventry Cathedral and Dean of the Diocese of Coventry, welcomed our diocese as a Partner in the Community of the Cross of Nails (CCN), and presented the diocese a Cross of Nails.

This journey began when Very Rev. Paul Millward, then Rector of the Cathedral and Dean of the Diocese, had the opportunity to meet with Rev. Canon Sarah Mills, the Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral. She shared the story of how the ministry of Reconciliation began and how it has evolved since those earliest days following World War II. A seed was planted.

Over the next few months we in the Diocese of Huron sought out ways to grow the work of reconciliation in our communities and especially with our Indigenous siblings. The hope being that we would be admitted as a Partner in the CCN and receive a Cross of Nails.

Prayer was the fuel that kept us focused as we journeyed. We prayed the Litany weekly, we prayed as we discerned the best ways to meet the goals of the CCN. We prayed for wisdom to show us the way...

On April 27 our prayers were answered as we, with great joy, became a Partner in the CCN and received a Cross of Nails. Prayer is a conversation with God, it is a two-way communication, God listens and then He asks us to still our hearts and listen to Him.

Our journey is not over, we will continue to pray, pray for peace and justice in the Middle East, pray for peace in Ukraine and Sudan and for all the corners of the world where there is conflict and to pray The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation.

The Community of the Cross of Nails is a Christian network of over 250 churches, schools, chaplaincies and retreat centres who, drawn together by the story of Coventry Cathedral share a common commitment to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation through: Healing the wounds of history, learning to live with difference and celebrate diversity, building a culture of justice and peace.

Rev. Stephanie Donaldson is an AFP executive. 

Photo: Gabrielle Rock