Coventry Peace Festival 2020

Peace festival logo 2020 ccc blue

Due to the recent government updates, Gaia will be postponed until further notice.

An introduction from the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Ann Lucas.

“Welcome to the Coventry Peace Festival

“The festival remains an integral and important part of our work as an international city of peace and reconciliation and the festival offers some fascinating and interesting content as ever.

“There are many events to look forward to including the amazing Gaia artwork which has been specifically brought to the city to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Blitz. The artwork provides a thoughtful backdrop to the anniversary when as a city we come together to remember the fateful night when the Cathedral was destroyed and changed our city forever.

“Our links with all our partner cities have grown stronger over the years and given the Blitz anniversary this year, the links we continue to hold with cities like Dresden and Volgograd are especially poignant and as also as we continue to make new friends along the way.

“The Peace Festival allows us to celebrate those links, to look back at past events and remember those who gave so much, but it also a time to look forward albeit with the ongoing challenges we all face with COVID-19.

“This year’s programme therefore does reflect the need for us all to host safe, well managed events and ensure everybody taking part can do so in an appropriate environment.

“Of course, sadly, the Remembrance Sunday event will also be delivered differently this year as some of you may have seen. However, this remains an integral date in the city’s civic event diary and I’m personally looking forward to watching the pre-recorded act of remembrance which will be broadcast on the morning of 8 November where we can all pay our own respects safely from home to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who continue to work towards peace. Find out how to watch the service online.

“It’s so important young people are engaged in the festival as they are our future and I’m particularly pleased to see a number of activities led directly by them in our city. I’ll be interested to hear and read more about some of the activities that have been arranged to discuss how we can all deliver a peaceful future together.

“On 12 November, the annual Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture will take place and this year will be an online broadcast form Coventry Cathedral. Our special guest speaker this year is Professor Sir David King who is uniquely qualified to give an authoritative insight into the threat to peace created by the dramatic changes currently taking place in the world’s climate due to human activity.

“There are many events taking place across the city and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in pulling the programme together.

“Enjoy the festival and I wish you all a happy peaceful future.”

Cllr Ann Lucas, Lord Mayor of Coventry.

This year’s programme of events:

This year’s Peace festival includes many different types of events from the large high-profile ones to small community-based events targeted at a specific audience.

While Coventry City Council help publicise the event, but the festival is brought about by the many groups and individuals whose enthusiasm and support make this event such a success.The full programme of events for the Peace Festival is below:

Neighbours’ Positive Images Peace Festival Poetry Competition

Date: Thursday 1 October to Saturday 21 November
Location: Online only
Contact: [email protected]

Positive Images Festival has run a Peace Festival Poetry Competition for four years and this is the 5th annual competition on a topic relating to Peace and Reconciliation. Each year the competition receives more entries from Coventry, the United Kingdom and abroad. Last year we received over 100 entries from across the world. The judging panel comprises two local poets and the winner from the previous year, who is given the opportunity to join the judging panel in the current year.  For the last two years we have adopted the same Peace topic used in the Under 16s Coventry and Warwickshire Peace Festival Poetry Competition and use the opportunity to work together and co-promote each other’s competition.  All the entries are published on the Positive Images Festival website and we produce a free booklet for all entrants, containing at least one poem from every entrant in January of the following year. The Positive Images Peace Festival Poetry Competition for adults, runs from 1 October to 31 October with the judging taking place between 1 November to 20 November.   The topic for 2020 is Neighbours and an online Readings and Awards Ceremony will be held, using the Lord Mayor’s Covtelecon zoom facility, 2pm-4pm Saturday 21 November.

2020 Coventry Young People’s Peace essay competition - deadline for submissions

Date: Saturday 31 October
Location: Online
Website: 2020 Young People’s Peace Essay Competition
Contacts: [email protected]

United Nations Association Coventry Branch invites essays of up to 500 words from young people aged up to 25 on the subject “The Role of Young People in Building Peace”.

The prizes for the three winners aged under 17 will be: £25, £10 and £5 plus a certificate.

Prizes for the three winners aged 17-25 will be: £50, £25 and £10 plus a certificate.

The deadline for entries is 11:00 pm on 31 October and the winners will be announced at an online event on 15 November, where the winners will be invited to read their essays. Entries in docx or txt format attachments should be emailed to [email protected] and include the name, telephone number and age of the author

World Tree of Peace

Date:  Sunday 1 – Sunday 15 November 2020
Location: exhibition display plus YouTube film / outdoor park (Memorial Park)
Contact: [email protected]

We will have an exhibition during the whole of the Peace Festival  for people who can easily and freely access, by taking a walk outside in the Park and we will leave a legacy using a film maker to show  Coventry’s diverse communities making positive messages to showcase across the world. The Godiva Trust was given a social cohesion award in 2011 by Coventry City Council and a Queens Award in 2019 for their continued efforts. Multilingual messages of peace collected through different social media channels will be imprinted on coloured ribbons and displayed prominently, filling a tree in the War Memorial Park. Red for remembrance, white for peace, sky blue for Coventry. The tree will stand as a peace exhibit 1 – 15 November.

Willenhall remembers

Date: Monday 2 November – Friday 6 November
Location: HAGARD community space – Willenhall village green
Contact: [email protected]

Willenhall has been celebrating Peace Festival for a few years now. We have seen the numbers attending the service growing each year, all ages and abilities.  We see it as a great opportunity for residents to share a few moments, to come together and take time to think of those people they have lost and to give thanks to those people we never met but we know we owe so much.  The children enjoy the poppies and doves and it offers an opportunity for all age groups to take part in one activity. It offers them the opening to ask about the reason for Doves and Poppies. A tradition we would very much like to keep alive. Displays consisting of images of the Coventry Blitz, articles from local history group:

  • Poems and thoughts from local children and residents on what the Blitz means to them
  • Record of local residents who lost family members during the Blitz and many wars
  • Craft group and children to make paper doves and hang them on trees
  • Remembrance service 6 Nov on the village green, service provided by Rev Pam Howell

Social distancing will be in place with areas marked out as a reminder for residents.

Peace of mind

Date: Tuesday 3 November, Friday 6 November, Tuesday 10 November, Friday 14 November.
Location: W.A.T.C.H Ltd and via Zoom
Contact: [email protected]

Peace of mind workshop will engage with BAME communities and those families affected by the fire in the tower block in Hillfields, exploring the idea of inner peace and how to obtain it in traumatic times. The participants will discuss ideas and experiences of peace on a personal level and what it means to have inner peace. Through mindfulness sessions they will be given simple tools to use on a daily basis, that promote an inner calm and peace, using breath work/techniques and eyes closed deep relaxation techniques. Participants will be able to form a support group of local residents and be assisted with virtual meetings on Zoom, so that support can continue

Peace and the UN - a presentation for secondary schools

Date: Tuesday 3 November
Location: Online
Contact: [email protected]

The UN was founded to prevent wars but a new war has broken out on average every four months since then. Why is the UN failing to stop these wars, and what should be done? We expect the presentation that will be launched at this event will be used, among others, by applicants for Coventry Peace Awards. This online presentation, aimed at secondary school students, will describe how the United Nations acts to prevent wars between nations and to end them once they have started. It will explain how and why the UN was formed, what successes and failures it has had in preventing and ending wars and the causes of recent wars.
It will aim to stimulate students to discuss what more the UN can and should do to achieve its goals. A video of the event and a PowerPoint presentation will be available for download from the United Nations Association Coventry website

Launch Peace Award trophy design competition

Date: Wednesday 4 November 2020
Location: Online via Zoom
Contact: [email protected]

The Peace Award was launched in February 2020 aimed at schools, but due to Covid there has been little activity. We are currently relaunching the award and this competition will help to promote interest in the award as well as generating a design for the trophy and provide some money towards creating trophies to give to schools whose activities deserve the award, which is free unlike many other awards for schools. Can you design a trophy which can be awarded to those Coventry-based organisations whose activities promoting peace and reconciliation earn them the Coventry Peace Award and win yourself £50?
We are looking for something organisations can hang on a wall and which includes the Peace Award logo and a replaceable area with the name of the institution and the dates of validity of the award.
The Competition will open for entries on 7 November with an online launch event at 3pm. More details.

Twin cities poetry: Coventry-Cork exchange

Date: Wednesday 4 November 2020
Location: Virtual event, via Zoom/livestream
Contact: [email protected]

The Coventry-Cork twin cities poetry exchange has been taking place since 2008, to promote peace, friendship and cultural understanding between the two cities as creative communities. In addition to performing at special poetry events, the poets explore each other’s cities, take a tour of significant landmarks, network with other local writers and pay state visits to both the Coventry and Cork Lord Mayors. This collaborative nature of the poetry exchange is beneficial for the people of Coventry, promoting our city in a positive light and inviting people to play a role in how the arts can strengthen international relationships across borders.

Visit to Coventry Cathedral (or virtual visit)

Date: Wednesday 4 & Wednesday 11 November
Location: Coventry Cathedral
Website: /
Contact: [email protected]

We plan to take a small number of young people to visit Coventry Cathedral to explore the history of Coventry and learn about the Blitz. This will be a youth led activity, with young people planning the budget, researching the history and delivering the information during the tour.

Planting Peace

Date: Friday 6 November
Location: Wild Earth, Koco Community Resource Centre, The Arches, Coventry, CV1 3JQ
Contact: [email protected]

Keeping in tune with the seasons, this is the time to plant bulbs for Spring 2021. It is an opportunity to focus on looking ahead and promoting positivity. It is an opportunity to think about how we can harvest peace in our lives and set an intention. You can decorate your container, plant a bulb and take an intention card with you to open in Spring 2021.
Each participant will be provided with individual gloves, equipment and art materials to maintain Covid-19 safety measures. Decorate a container and plant a bulb for the spring with a specific intention. Each bulb will be planted with an intention and you will also take home an intention card to revisit in Spring 2021. 

Please wear masks and observe the centre’s social distancing measures in place. If you have any symptoms of Cvoid-19, please do not attend the workshop. Pre-booking essential to maintain rule of six and slots will be provided for the workshop. We request that you maintain the timing of the allocated slots. If inclement weather, the workshop will be held indoors at the centre and we ask that you follow the Covid-19 safety measures put in place.
(Please note that if regulations change, we can provide activity packs instead to booked participants along with resources and instruction sheets.)

Rap for Peace

Date: Saturday 7 and Saturday 14 November
Location: Zoom and Hillz radio/ W.A.T.C.H Ltd
Contact: [email protected]

Through a Rap and Poetry workshop Hillz radio will engage with young people to encourage self-expression of what Peace means to them, using their own experiences and words to form a piece of creative writing. The work will be showcased on Hillz radio with some of the best pieces forwarded to BBC CWR as part of their promotion of local radio.

Peace lamps

Date: Saturday 7 & Saturday 14 November
Location: W.A.T.C.H Ltd and via Zoom
Website: /
Contact: [email protected]

Due to current restrictions we propose to deliver these events at WATCH on each Saturday during Coventry Peace Festival aimed at children and young people from BAME and newer communities living in Hillfields.  Recycled jars, paints, gems will be used to make peace lamps using paints and a battery-operated tea light candle. This will create a representation of light, hope and new beginnings and celebration across all cultures

Salt Clay Peace ornaments

Date: Saturday 7 & Saturday 14 November
Location: W.A.T.C.H Ltd
Website: /
Contact:   [email protected]

These events will include making Peace Ornaments including doves, children’s handprints and other keepsakes as an alternative ornament or gift for family using household ingredients and air-drying clays.  The white dove represents peace, love, femininity, and hope. This fun, messy activity will open discussions of peace with the children and young people taking part in the activities.

Educational resources to accompany Coventry City Centre Peace trail

Date: Tuesday 10 November
Location: Online
Contact: [email protected]

The Committee will be producing a new edition of the peace trail booklet which will also be published during the Peace Festival. Copies of the booklet can be downloaded free and a printed copy is also available at a modest price. The trail is popular among tourists and some teachers but will be more widely used by schools’ once resources are available to support them. A set of free educational resources will be published to accompany Coventry City Centre Peace Trail, a new edition of which is due to be published in November. Previous editions of this booklet have been very popular, and these resources will enable schools and others to make greater use of the trail and the 30 peace-related venues it describes.

Reprint Coventry Peace trail

Date: Wednesday 11 November
Contact: [email protected]

Coventry City Centre Peace Trail is a guide to a walking tour of over 30 sites associated with peace located within Coventry city centre and describes each of them. It begins with the ruins of St. Michael’s Cathedral, blitzed in 1940, and concludes in Millennium Place. In November 2020 we will be publishing a new edition containing links to educational resources and to peace-related locations outside the city centre. Find out more.

Making Coventry’s Clean Green Future-Climate emergency exhibition

Date: Thursday 12 November 2020
Location: Belgrade Theatre, Corporation St Coventry
Contact: [email protected]

This is a public poster exhibition illustrating a range of  local and global solutions to help inform and engage the public in contributing to the 2030 UN Climate Emergency which Coventry City Council has committed to including launching a consultation on a new climate change strategy. Last year Coventry University graphic artists produced 30 posters illustrating local solutions and this year the University of Warwick’s Global Sustainable Development students produce 30 posters featuring global solutions. There are many others including Coventry’s Mark Wood, North -South Pole solar exhibition highlighting the impact of climate change.

Coventry Lord Mayor’s Peace lecture 2020

Date: Thursday 12 November 2020
Location: Coventry Cathedral and streamed live online
Contact: [email protected]

The Lord Mayor invites high profile speakers to deliver a lecture every November. Professor Sir David King is uniquely qualified to give an authoritative insight into the threat to peace created by the dramatic changes currently taking place in the world’s climate due to human activity. He was Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s chief scientific adviser and served as the permanent Special Representative for Climate Change under David Cameron and Theresa May. He will no doubt address major questions about what governments and their citizens need to do to deal with what the greatest threat to world peace is probably.

Gaia - Cancelled

Date: Friday 13 November and Saturday 14 November

14 November 1940 video

Date: Saturday 14 November
Location: Streamed online at
Contact: [email protected]

Coventry Lord Mayor’s Committee for Peace and Reconciliation have created a video that will bring the events of that fateful night to life and explore its causes and its consequences. You will hear the words of the men, women and children who lived through those times, and see images that will bring those words to life.

The world premiere will be shown on at 8pm on 14 November and the video will be available at that site thereafter.

2020 Coventry Young People’s Peace essay competition – award ceremony

Date: Sunday 15 November
Location: Online via Zoom
Contact: [email protected]

At this online event, United Nations Association Coventry Branch will announce the winners of the 2020 Young People’s Peace Essay Competition and the winners will be invited to read their essays on the subject:

“The Role of Young People in Building Peace”

Prizes for the three winners aged under 17 will be: £25, £10 and £5 plus a certificate.

The prizes for the three winners aged 17-25 will be: £50, £25 and £10 plus a certificate.

Join the award event online via Zoom.

Details how to submit an essay.

For further information about the Peace Festival, please contact the Events Team on [email protected].

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