Monday, 21 March 2011

Elvis in the Cathedral

The photos show:

Top: Imperials singing with the Morriston Orpheus Choir in Coventry Cathedral - the famous tapestry in the background.

Middle: Close up of above

Bottom: Madeleine Wilson with the Imperials at the after show party

On Saturday 19th March we attended a magnificent event in Coventry Cathedral in England, entitled "Elvis in the Cathedral". It was a celebration of Elvis' music, especially the gospel music. The music makers were, The Morriston Orpheus (Welsh Male Voice) Choir, soloist Jenson Bloomer and The Elvis Imperials gospel group whose members are Joe Moscheo, Terry Blackwood, Darrell Toney and Royce Taylor. Joe and Terry, were members of the Imperials who sang with Elvis on stage, Royce was a former tenor with the Stamps and Darrell is a "new boy". The photo shows The Morrison Orpheus Choir singing with Elvis Imperials. You may notice that the Cathedral looks rather modern, with the unusual tapestry of Jesus Christ behind the singers. That is because it is. On the night of 14 November 1940, the city of Coventry was devastated by bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe. The Cathedral burned with the city, having been hit by several incendiary devices. The decision to rebuild the cathedral was taken the morning after its destruction. Rebuilding would not be an act of defiance, but rather a sign of faith, trust and hope for the future of the world. It was the vision of the Provost at the time, Dick Howard, which led the people of Coventry away from feelings of bitterness and hatred. This has led to the cathedral's Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, which has provided spiritual and practical support, in areas of conflict throughout the world. Shortly after the destruction, the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble with the moving words 'Father Forgive' inscribed on the Sanctuary wall. Another cross was fashioned from three medieval nails by local priest, the Reverend Arthur Wales. The Cross of Nails has become the symbol of Coventry's ministry of reconciliation. The ruins remain hallowed ground and together the two create one living Cathedral. Elvis would have been amazed to see a concert in his honour was held in such a place. The Holy Spirit was certainly present . Many of the audience were visibly moved by the singing, and it wasn't only the ladies!
At the after show party we had the opportunity to catch up with Joe Moscheo and Terry Blackwood whom we already knew and to meet that two new members of the group. They are such wonderful Christian men, who love the Lord and enjoy singing to His glory in the hope that others will come into that life-saving relationship with Jesus.
Our thanks to David Wade of Arena Travel and Carol Pugh of Elvis in Wales for being instrumental in putting together this wonderful event. We hope that there will be more to come!