The Cathedral Project 1940-1947
IN March 1941, the Cathedral Council, comprising the Bishop, Assistant Bishop, the Provost, the honorary and residentiary canons, the Archdeacons of Coventry and of Warwick, and representatives of the diocese and the cathedral congregation met for the first time since the November raid. Endorsing a public promise made by Provost Howard on the morning after the raid, the Council resolved to rebuild the cathedral 'on or near its present site' using funds from the Government's War Damage Commission.1 The Provost, like a dean in an older cathedral, was responsible for both the fabric and the administration of the cathedral. He believed that the cathedral should play an important role in the moral regeneration of Britain, and reflect the more egalitarian conditions which he envisaged after the war. The new Bishop, Neville Gorton, who arrived in Coventry in 1943, was even more radical, concerned with what he termed a co-operative 'Christian social attack' on contemporary problems. For both, the project for a new cathedral was not merely a building project but also involved rethinking its function. But by 1947, specifications for a cathedral along traditional lines--and quite contrary to the Bishop's ideas--were drawn up; in the process, the scheme was to lose some of its most innovative features.
The Provost initially sought advice from the cathedral architect, Randoll Blacking, and the secretary of the Central Council for the Care of Churches (CCC), Francis Eeles. Eeles, disliking____________________