Coventry Cathedral set for a spectacular light show this week

Where Light Falls will honour the city’s heritage and wartime bravery on the 79th anniversary of the Blitz that destroyed Coventry Cathedral.

This week, Where Light Falls, a spectacular installation of light, history and poetry, will arrive in the city.

Using the city’s iconic Cathedral as a canvas, leading creatives Double Take Projections will project powerful poetry, visuals and photography to tell the story of the Cathedral, the city and its people.

It’s a tale of destruction, recovery and resilience: from the medieval period  when culture, learning and trade flourished  through the destruction of the old cathedral during the Blitz, finishing with peace, reconciliation and the building of a modern city.

The projections will take place in a number of locations around the outside of the new cathedral and inside the cathedral ruins, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (14-16 Nov).

The main show lasts approximately 10 minutes and will be repeated throughout the evening, so you can arrive at any time between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm. Historic England recommends you allow 20 minutes to enjoy the full experience.

The event is a free, outdoor event, so it is advised to wear warm clothing.

The show just so happens to fall on the 79th anniversary of the Blitz that destroyed the Cathedral, making the show a powerful and timely reminder of destruction, but more so reconciliation and peace.

As part of the project, St Paul’s Cathedral in London was also lit up last month with a similar lights projection show.

Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Events, said: “The evening of 14 November 1940 changed Coventry forever. I can think of no better place for us to reflect on the destruction of the Blitz and the heroism of those who fought that destruction, than the Cathedral. 

“The Cathedral is one of our most iconic buildings and it’s important that we continue to remember and honour its important place in our history.

“This free event is accessible to all and can be completed at your own pace, so I encourage people of all ages and mobility to come and experience this fantastic event.”

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Linda Bigham, said: “This outdoor event will be a fitting way to mark the 79th anniversary of the Blitz and its impact on our city.

“This performance will be a truly unique way for us to honour the sacrifice of those who fought to preserve our iconic Cathedral.  I encourage everyone to attend one of these very memorable and moving performances and pay tribute.”

The Poetry Society worked with poets Jane Commane plus local school children, older writers, refugees and migrants with lived experience of conflict to create crowd-sourced poems based on the war-time stories of the cathedral.

“As well as my own original stanzas, the poem is built around a refrain. This is the ‘communal’ part of the poem….made of phrases ‘donated’ by the people I am working with, and are generated in response to the question “what does Coventry Cathedral mean to you?” said Jane Commane.

The poems will be beamed onto the walls of the buildings by a team of architectural projection artists whose previous projects have transformed castles into Christmas presents and covered bridges in illuminated tartan.