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Vicar: Let's count our blessings! FESTIVAL: Thanksgiving for city.

Byline: Alan Riddoch

THE Rev David Mayhew was shocked by the reaction he got when he moved to take up a position at Coventry's historic Holy Trinity Church.

Trying to get a feel for his new home, the vicar started asking people what the city was like - and said he faced a wall of negativity with people having nothing nice to say about the place.

He said: "I was surprised.

I think it's quite common for people in Coventry to be apologetic and make excuses for the city - a slight inferiority complex. "A lot of people want to turn the attitude round.

"Before, I worked in NewcastS eS - a wonderful city, and a good contrast.

It too has loads of issues, but great confi-dence.

"As a city it deserves its repu tS ation as somewhere for the future - Coventry is (a wonderful city) too, but not enough people know it." Now he is planning thanksgiving with a difference this weekend.

As well as giving thanks at a usual harvest festival at the Broadgate church, he is asking people to "give thanks" for Coventry as well.

He said: "People will bring flowers and fruit for the harvest festival, but we've also asked them to bring what speaks to them as good about Coventry - pictures, poems - one person is bringing a blanket she's making that will be sent to Africa.

"Before I came I didn't know much about the city. I hadn't realised all the positives.

"The high-end automotive engineering, the high amount of creativity, the reputation of the universities, the gaming industry, the watch-making and bicycle industries, and the reputation for forgiveness and reconciliation."

Holy Trinity will host its celebration of Coventry tomorrow from 4:30pm to 8:30pm. Harvest festival thanksgiving will also take place on Sunday.

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GIVING THANKS ... Reverend David Mayhew prepares for this year's harvest festival
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 2, 2009
Words:310
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