Thursday 18 June

Thought for the day from John Witcombe

This week some of us have started to re-open our church buildings for personal prayer: we know God doesn’t live in buildings made by human beings, but we also know that some places are set aside as symbols of God’s presence with us, and for us to commit special time to him.

It’s not just church members who are returning to the buildings though: our buildings hold the hopes, the losses, and the celebrations of all our local communities. On Monday this week I joined a Public Art consultation (by zoom of course) in Coventry, and realised that the Cathedral is actually the prime piece of ‘public art’ in the city. It’s a place of beauty, of gathering, a place where residents and tourists want to visit – an amazing place which holds the story of the city. I was thinking that it was unique in this respect amongst English Cathedrals – and then I realised that all our church buildings do this. They are all public art.

Our 2021 Cathedral capital project title is ‘Making Space for Hope’: it’s what our building offers. It’s what all our buildings offer – a space for hope to flourish. A place for people to come and open themselves to the hope of God, filling, directing, transforming. Today’s Psalm has another of my favourite verses – if you’re able to, spend some time in a church building with these words:

"Commit your way to the Lord;
   trust in him, and he will act."

   Psalm 37.5

John Witcombe is the Dean of Coventry