The two Cathedrals of Coventry

When I told a friend about my plans to visit Coventry, this is what he had to say:

Coventry is a rather nondescript little city in the West Midlands region of the UK. It has two universities (University of Warwick and Coventry University), two museums and a humongous Ikea. And, yes, it also has 2 cathedrals.

I didn’t really pay attention to the rest of his description as only the “two cathedrals” part intrigued me—a city has only one cathedral, and Coventry had two? This I had to see.

So are there two cathedrals in Coventry? Well, yes and no. There are two cathedrals in Coventry—the first is the ruins of the Old Medieval Cathedral, and the second is the modern, New Cathedral. But only the latter Cathedral is a place of worship today, so in that sense there is only one cathedral in Coventry. Both the cathedrals exist side by side, with the St. Michael’s porch connecting the two.

St. Michael's Porch. The glass-fronted entrance to the new Cathedral is to the right, while the steps on the left lead to the ruins of the Old Cathedral

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The social movements calendar 2011

Yesterday morning, when I came in to work, I found an over-sized grey envelope on my office desk with the words “Social Movements Calendar 2011” printed on it. Now, there was nothing unusual about receiving a calendar as my office receives quite a few calendars this time of the year. However, the calendars come rolled up and tied with a string and not enclosed in an envelope. Intrigued, I opened it immediately.

The cover of the Social Movements Calendar 2001

 The Social Movements Calendar (SMC) 2011 is a themed calendar on “peoples’ struggles against international financial institutions(IFIs)”. Right from the cover (see photo above), which is a rally of protesters against land acquisition for mining in Jharkhand to the list of resources on this topic, each page of the calendar reflects the theme.

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