St Martin has a special dedication to peace and reconciliation.

Forthcoming events

Holocaust Memorial Day 

Monday 27th January, from 12 noon to 2 pm

We will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day with a time for reflection on the theme 'Stand Together', with a short repeated video and displays to aid reflection, and an opportunity to write down your thoughts.


Latest News

The Bethlehem Peace Light was received on Saturday 21st December and given to other churches and scout and guide groups.




Partners in the Community of the Cross of Nails


God of Life, we give thanks for the diversity of human life. 

In encounters with those of  different ethnic groups, 

may we value dialogue, and inclusivity 

of different cultures, to promote 

social cohesion in local communities.  Amen.

You are invited to tie a leaf to our prayer tree in the church. Prayers will be gathered and offered in our services. You might like to think about how prayer for reconciliation in relationships, working life, financail difficulties, addictions and in the wider world will help. May you know God's reconciling love and peace in your life. 

The Community of the Cross of Nails in York organise Reconciliation Events:  International Peace Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, Receiving the Bethlehem Peace Light and have plans to hold an annual lecture on Reconciliation. Please e-mail us if you would like to receive prayer updates and details of events. 

Since 29 April 2012, the 70th anniversary of the bombing, we have been partners in the international Community of the Cross of Nails at Coventry Cathedral, itself bombed and restored in a new guise alongside ruins of the old. The Community of the Cross of Nails is a Christian network of churches and organisations who, drawn together by the story of Coventry Cathedral, share a common commitment to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation through:

  • Healing the wounds of history
  • Learning to live with difference and celebrate diversity;
  • Building a culture of Peace

In particular, we have forged ties with a partner church, St Marien in Lübeck which was bombed just a month before St Martin's on 28 April 1942. We look forward to growing connections with partners in Britain and abroad as part of our shared ministry. A group visited Lubeck at the end of June 2016 to mark the 45th anniversary of St Marien becoming a partner in the Community of the Cross of Nails. 


A visit from Coventry 

In April 2016 we welcomed 4 interns from Coventry Cathedral, briefly joined by Elena Launer from Lubeck.

They made a short film about the Community of the Cross of Nails in York.


Monica Lawrence

Monica is an active member of the Community of the Cross of Nails at St Martin and she features in the Living Reconcilation website. Monica is responsible for the monthly prayer sheets in St Martin's. In Lent 2016, she chose prayers about Living Reconciliation.

Monica Lawrence chose the image of Living Reconciliation for this Lent’s pew prayer at St Martin’s York because:

  • Living Reconciliation’ shows how God calls us to live in a renewed relationship with him, looking outwards with him in love to others in the diverse world he has created. (That is my understanding of one purpose we can take on for Lent).
  • Sometimes people ask:”What is this life all about?” ‘Living Reconciliation’ answers that question for those who are searching, because it acknowledges our vulnerability, offers hope, and a way to live.
  • We cannot ignore local, national and international conflict realities of our time. ‘Living Reconciliation’ is active mission that involves us in conversation and listening with an open mind to gain better understanding of ‘the other’.
  • Living Reconciliation’ helps us to bring about change in ourselves that enables us to move forward. We may not agree, but we often find we have a lot in common that keeps us together so we can press on with realising God’s Kingdom


Beginnings to the present

St Martin's dedication to peace and reconciliation, and as a shrine of remembrance, originates from its re-hallowing in 1968 after being bombed in an air raid in 1942. By an extraordinary coincidence, 11 November, which is marked nationally as Remembrance Day, is also the feast day of St Martin of Tours, patron saint of soldiers and of this church in Coney Street. More recently, peace and reconciliation at St Martin's has generated not only from world events, but also from the many prayer requests left in the church by visitors from all over the world, as well as from those who may find it a quiet space for regular, private prayer.

Our ethos of peace and reconciliation

The Church regards peace and reconciliation as a ministry in itself, of which healing is very much a part. At St Martin's we believe it is essential to understand that when we endeavour to be reconcilers and peacemakers, we do not support one group over another, nor one person over another. We believe it is our role to respect and listen to both points of view in order to enable peaceful unity to come about. Long processes of dialogue, healing and prayer, based on truth and trust, with loving respect of one another, may be involved. Wide issues such as poverty and discrimination, depend on justice for peaceful reconciliation.

What else is happening at St Martin's?

  • St Martin's is a focal point for prayer. There is opportunity for prayer or quiet meditation at any time during the day.
  • There is a short Eucharist (Holy Communion) service on Wednesdays at 12.15. That on the first Wednesday of the month has a special focus on healing.
  • Community of the Cross of Nails Prayers are offered each Friday at 12 noon. This time of reflection and prayer lasts just under 30 minutes and, like most of the services at St Martin's, includes the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation.
  • An Amnesty Group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 11.00.
  • Street Angels, volunteers who are available to befriend young people in distress on the streets during the night at weekends, use the church.

Friday Reflections