Coventry Cathedral architect features on Royal Mail stamps

By Steve Carpenter 24/02 Updated: 24/02 13:28

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Buy photos » Postman Neil Bodger, from Coventry, with a blow up of the Coventry Cathedral stamp outside Coventry Cathedral. (S)

THE ACHIEVEMENTS of the architect of Coventry Cathedral will be recognised throughout 2012 after his work was included in a set of stamps which celebrates British figures.

Sir Basil Spence bought together the cream of the country's artists and craftsmen to design the Cathedral following the destruction of St Michael's Cathedral during the Coventry Blitz in 1942.

Spence created a feast of contemporary Christian art that attracted no less than three million visitors in its first year.

And following his success at Coventry Cathedral, he received a succession of high-profile international commissions for public buildings, including the British Embassy in Rome.

"We are all absolutely delighted that Sir Basil Spence’s creation of our Cathedral at Coventry has been recognised in this set of stamps especially during its 50th anniversary year," commented the Very Reverend John Irvine, Dean of Coventry.

"His vision was to create a thought-provoking building that would inspire the many generations to come, and that he has achieved.

"Including Spence as a Briton of Distinction will also remind people what a treasure they have in this Cathedral - it was after all voted the nation’s favourite 20th Century building."

Among the other high profile Britons in the set is lan Turing, the brilliant mathematician and Enigma code breaker, Odette Hallowes, the wartime secret agent and social reformer Joan Mary Fry.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail stamps spokesperson, added: "Britons of Distinction celebrates important yet diverse individuals, sometimes separated by centuries, but brought together by genius.

"I think the stamps create a great sense of history, and capture both the achievement and endeavour of these exceptional people."

To further honour and celebrate the Cathedral's landmark year, a cultural programme of art, music, theatre, poetry and worship will commence throughout 2012. For more information visit

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