The Salvation Army “opened fire” in Coventry in January, 1878. Since that time, the Coventry City Corps has remained a stronghold in the work. The Corps has recently completed construction on a new hall, which was formally dedicated on 2 July 2005. In attendance for the event was the Chief Secretary for the UK Territory, Lt.-Colonel Victor Poke, divisional leaders Majors Bill and Gillian Heeley, and, representing the civic leadership, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Shabir Ahmed.
Events began in the early afternoon when an ensemble from the Coventry City Corps Band accompanied the singing of the well-known song “To God Be the Glory” in the foyer of the new hall. Following the reading of Scripture, Lt.-Colonel Poke unveiled a plaque and declared the building offically open.
The cutting of the ribbon was done by Band Reservists Norman Hogg and Bernard Wallis, assisted by the newest Junior Soldier of the corps, Daniel Wallis. A Dedication Meeting was held in the new Worship Hall immediately following the ribbon-cutting.
The Dedication Meeting was highlighted by civic greetings brought by Councillor Ahmed, followed by a statement on the financial position of the building project from Major Bill Heeley. A thanksgiving offering was taken, with the proceeds of more than £6,000 going towards the building campaign.
In September, 1878, the Coventry City Corps was given a Salvation Army flag by Catherine Booth. During the Dedication Meeting, a replica of this flag was presented by Band Reservist Ken Elliott. This replica will be displayed in the Worship Hall.
The band’s contribution to the Dedication Meeting was, appropriately, a setting of I Dedicate Myself to Thee. Lt.-Colonel Poke gave the message for the afternoon.
In the evening, all of the Corps musical sections participated in a Festival of Thanksgiving and Praise. Items by the band included the festival march Celebration (Leslie Condon), and Glorifico Aeternum (Dean Jones), a piece that was first rehearsed by the band on 26 May 2005, during the first rehearsal held in the new facility.
Coventry City Corps Band web site (no longer active - ed.)