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COVENTRY CATHEDRAL

The Gethsemane Chapel and the Chapel
of Christ the Servant



As the visitor walks from the baptistery down the south aisle he comes to another interesting point of the Cathedral a small side chapel: the Gethsemane chapel . Once again we have a reminder of suffering in the midst of an overall impression of triumph and light. Here we have a further contrast in the Cathedral: that between the intimacy of this chapel and the size and majesty of the nave and High Altar. This small chapel is impressive in a different way and offers a place of prayer for those who wish to withdraw from the focal point of the Cathedral.

The mosaic depicts the Angel of Agony by Steven Sykes and becomes more impressive when seen from a distance through the wrought iron crown of thorns designed by Basil Spence.

The Gethsemane Chapel

[Coventry Cathedral, The Gethsemane Chapel]

To the right of this chapel we come to the circular shaped larger Chapel of Christ the Servant. The altar here is seen against the clear glass which again is of theological important. By allowing people from within the Cathedral who are in worship to see the world outside it becomes a symbol of the essential unity between the Church and its liturgy on the one hand and the working world outside on the other. Distinct, yet immersed in the normal daily activities. The Cathedral is a place of withdrawal and spiritual power for renewed energy in an outgoing ministry to the world: "in" the world yet not "of" the world; not to exploit the world but to serve the world. This is the essential meaning of the Chapel of Christ the Servant. Around the plinth of the altar are engraved the words: "I am among you as one that serves" which are the words of Christ himself (Luke 22:27).

RJW

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latest update: 27/6/04