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Pew-gilism: boxing matches staged inside Coventry Cathedral

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/20/16

By this point, even Henry VIII must be turning over in his grave.

From the BBC:

Boxing matches held at Coventry Cathedral raised about £10,000 for charity at a place of worship that was, its dean said, committed to a world without war. Rev John Whitcombe said he climbed into the ring to speak about “peace and reconciliation” before Saturday’s so-called white collar fights – 13 bouts of three, two-minute rounds for which amateur participants underwent eight weeks of training. He said a boxing match was “not what you expect” in a cathedral, but added “we’d never do anything that compromised our values”. Event organisers, Heroes For 6 Minutes, said the fights raised about £10,000 for military charity Help for Heroes. They said an ambulance crew was in attendance at the “professionally-run event”.

Read more.

The Coventry Telegraph has more:

The Very Revd John Witcombe, the Dean of Coventry , defended the move, saying boxing is a way of generating discipline and self-respect. He said: “I agreed to having a charity boxing match in the cathedral, in support of Help the Heroes. “I hope you will understand that it wasn’t a straightforward decision, and I did give it very careful and prayerful consideration, but I made it for three reasons. “Help the Heroes is a charity with widespread support, working amongst those who have made huge sacrifices for the cause of peace. There is a strong history of church projects to encourage boxing as a way of generating discipline and self respect, especially in poorer areas. “Boxing is an Olympic sport, and we are proud to support those athletes who aim for those heights. “It will bring a significant fee – and will bring people into the Cathedral who would not otherwise be there. I have asked to offer a welcome which frames the event within our commitment to Peace and Reconciliation.”

Photo: BBC/Heroes for 6 Minutes

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