Memories of our Diocese

This page is a collection of memories about our diocese over the past 100 years. We will be collating these throughout the year. If you have a memory to share please email Anna Laycock at


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These photographs taken by Marie Paterson show the new Community Building that was erected in 2009 at St Nicolas, Nuneaton. The building is skillfully integrated with the adjacent Old Grammar School. The medieval church building is on the other side.


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This photograph was taken on the 10th April 2005 when Bishop Colin Bennets officially opened the extension to St Andrew’s Church, Shottery. He is shaking hands with the Revd James Warren and to the right is Harry Ware, the much loved Lay Reader who is no longer with us.


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The building of Warwick Gates Community Church.


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In 1986, many of the churches in Leamington Spa united under my chairmanship for a week’s mission called “Out of the Blue”, led by the well known evangelist J John.  The mission began with an open air procession through Leamington (see photo) with many joining in, undeterred by the pouring rain!  The climax of the mission was a united Sunday evening service in the Royal Spa Centre, co-led by Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward and J John. The venue was filled to capacity, and I distinctly remember a lay person from one of the churches saying at the time, “to get this number of Christians from so many different churches together like this is amazing – I am so excited!” – The Revd Andrew Dow, Vicar of St Paul’s, Leamington, 1978-1988.


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In March 1984 Bishop John Gibbs dedicated the redeveloped interior of St Paul’s Leamington Spa at a special service.  The church was packed (see photo) with many people seated in the new balcony built over a new lounge area. The congregation raised over £350,000 for this project, which in those days was a considerable sum.  Many of the congregation grew in their faith and confidence in God as they launched into a depth of sacrificial Christian financial giving which they had never previously explored. Initially some people were opposed to the project, not liking what they regarded as the spoiling a beautiful neo-gothic Victorian church, but on the day the congregation saw the changes for the first time, one of those “opponents” threw her arms around me, and said, “Andrew, I take back everything I said against it!” –  The Revd Andrew Dow, Vicar of St Paul’s, Leamington, 1978-1988.


The Reverend Andrew Dow was the vicar of St Paul’s, Leamington from 1978 to 1987.


In 1975 Canon David Cooper Capron was ordained deacon in the Diocese of Coventry. He shares some of his memories from the last 40 years here.



Queen Elizabeth II at the consecration of the new Cathedral in 1962.