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Coventry Cathedral defends hosting boxing fight

Tue 20 Sep 2016
By Hannah Tooley

The Dean of Coventry has defended the decision to host a boxing match held at the city's cathedral. 

The event was organised to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity helping British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty.

Very Rev John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry, told Premier most people were happy with the decision.

He said: "It's obviously not what you would immediately associate or expect of a cathedral, but then actually we do quite a lot of things in Coventry which you wouldn't immediately expect or associate with a cathedral and many of those are to do with inviting many different groups of people into the cathedral."

"I found that people were really delighted to be there, and really appreciated the welcome that we were able to give them.

"They were really grateful it was a very well-managed event and we had quite a lot of public support and appreciation for that, as well as you'd expect others who've raised a sense of it's not what they expected."

The place of worship is famous for its international work in peace and reconciliation.

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Saturday's event helped raise more than £10,000. It was part of a series of events across the country set up by the charity.

The cathedral received some complaints with some questioning how appropriate it was for boxing to take place in a religious building.

Very Rev John Witcombe explained that many church projects have used boxing as a way of generating discipline and self-respect, and suggested hosting an event of this kind was a way of getting people into church who would not "naturally find themselves there".

He told Premier most people were happy with the decision.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Very Rev John Witcombe here:

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