Coventry’s Peace Festival returns for 2021

Published Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Coventry’s annual Peace Festival returns this November promoting the city’s ongoing work of peace, tolerance and friendship.

Peace festival

The city is well-known around the world as a welcoming place and one recognised across the world as a city of peace and reconciliation.

The Peace Festival is a chance for the many faiths, cultures and communities that flourish within Coventry to get together and highlight all the ongoing work alongside special events that spread the word about Coventry’s role in peace and reconciliation worldwide. This is especially important as we move out of the pandemic and get back together in person, helping each other through challenging times.

These events, taking place from 1-15 November, all have the aim of promoting peace and tolerance of each other at their heart.

Here are a few of the highlights for the 2021 Festival:

The centrepiece of the festival is Gaia. Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. Gaia measures seven metres in diameter and features detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surfacewhich offers viewers of the artwork the chance to see the earth in its true three-dimensional scale. Visitors will have the chance to view Gaia in a deeply moving and free ticketed event held in the Cathedral Ruins. Gaia runs from 5-7 November. To find out more, please visit www.coventry.gov.uk/gaia

On the 11 November, from 6pm, Coventry Cathedral hosts the Lord Mayor’s Annual Peace Lecture “Sounds of Unity” a reflection given by Coventry’s own Christine and Neville Staple as part of the RISING Global Peace Forum.

A very important part of the festival every year is the Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade which returns to the War Memorial Park on Sunday 14 November at 10.45am. This is followed at 3pm by the Communal Grave Service at London Road Cemetery, which also remembers those who lost their lives during both World Wars.

The Poppy Drop will be taking place on Armistice Day on Thursday 11 November in West Orchards Shopping Centre at 11am. During the 2-minute silence, 4,000 poppies drop from the dome of the shopping centre to commemorate the fallen.

Another highlight of the festival for many will be Verdi’s Requiem in Coventry Cathedral by the Coventry Cathedral Chorus on the 13 November at 7pm.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John McNicholas, said, “It’s inspirational to see all of the work that happens all year round in our city promoting peace and understanding. This festival helps to highlight how much work is going on and I hope it will inspire others to engage and celebrate all that is happening. I’m sure people will find something of interest in the programme and perhaps be inspired to promote the message further afield as well as in the city.”

Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, Cabinet Member for Events, said: “This year’s Peace Festival is full of fantastic events that I’m sure residents will enjoy.

“I’m particularly pleased to be hosting Gaia here in Coventry, especially after the disappointment of having to cancel the event last year. Gaia’s message of peace and interconnectedness means it’s the perfect centrepiece for our Peace Festival and an apt commemoration of the Blitz the city suffered all those years ago.

“These events are accessible to all, so I encourage people of all ages and mobility to come along and experience them.”

There are many community, schools and other groups holding events throughout the festival so make sure to visit www.coventry.gov.uk/peace to see the full programme and how to book tickets.

To find out more about the Coventry Peace Festival www.coventry.gov.uk/peace.

Coventry City Council