Throughout Coventry, the ‘Sacred’ can and does manifest in many different ways.
Coventry Sacred Space has been established to honour and celebrate Coventry’s ‘arrivals hall’ for communities in need of sanctuary and a new home. It is a space for creativity, hope and healing, where enterprise and industry are incubated and cultivated by all.
It provides a specific area of Coventry where people as pilgrims can experience ‘the sacred’ by the stimulation of their senses and through them experiencing stillness, joy, and wonder.
Within 5 years it will be a Plastic Free Zone
The Sacred Space can be extended
- By establishing ‘pathways’ along roads such as Foleshill Road or along the Coventry canal.
- By identifying ‘Islands’ such as the Memorial Park or Myton Hospital.
- By developing a Coventry Sacred Space ‘App’.
What makes the area special
The space is:
- historic e.g. the Swanswell Pond and Park – 12th century monastery.
- known to welcome communities in need of sanctuary or are vulnerable.
- a nest for 12 places of worship, at least one, from different religions.
- fondly remembered as ‘playgrounds’, ‘safe space’, ‘growing up’ area
- a home for the least able and most vulnerable in society.
- home to healing and health with the largest hospital in Coventry
- rich with Coventry’s heritage e.g. Cathedral, Lady Godiva at the centre
- renowned with characters e.g. Phillip Larkin roamed and talked of the area
The Coventry Sacred Space Area Includes
The 3 Spires of Coventry, (technically 2), Places of Worship from Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish and Pagan tradition, Transport Museum, Lady Herbert’s Garden, Volgograd Place, Swanswell Park, Old Council House, Sidney Stringer Academy, The Coventry Elephant, The Canal Basin, Coventry College, Herbert Art Gallery , Eden Girls School, Belgrade Theatre, Evening Telegraph, Coventry Building Society, The University of Coventry, Friends House, Central Library, Refugee & Migrants Centre , Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom Square, Coventry NHS Hospital Trust, The Pool Meadow, Coventry Baha’i & Zoroastrian community.
The area has Challenges
- Highest level of deprivation in the West Midlands
- Low esteem, living standards, housing & amenities
- Low levels of educational achievement
- More people with poor physical and mental health
- High rates of crime and knife crime
- Unemployment, poor skills
But also Opportunities
- Coventry’s welcome Mat for centuries
- High levels of energy from people
- High level of hope
- Mostly young demographic
- Innovation and adaptation
Ten USP’s of Coventry Sacred Space Initiative
- broad based and is community led from the grass roots
- beneficial for the whole of Coventry
- multifaceted e.g. sports, health, cohesion, art, culture, economic regeneration…
- current, e.g. climate change, environment & nature are at the core of change
- innovative and exciting
- a new ‘sacred space’ model, therefore for others to replicate
- flexible and can grow incrementally over time
- sustainable (does not require long term core funding)
- able to complement existing development plans for the City
- owned and has the blessings of a diverse range of religious organisation