The very war that destroyed All Saints Church in Chilvers Coton, Nuneaton, amazingly led to its rebuilding and renovation. In the early morning of 17th May 1941, German incendiary bombs, probably intended for the nearby London to Birmingham railway, hit the church, destroyed the roof, blew out the walls and incinerated most of the church furniture. So many buildings in the area lay damaged that reconstruction of the church was deemed non-essential, so building work did not begin until 1946.
Faced with shortages of supplies, materials, manpower and equipment, the parish were stunned to receive an offer of help from some German prisoners of war who were camped at nearby Arbury Hall. Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, these men could not be compelled to work, but they volunteered to use their skills to help the local community rebuild their parish church, often using materials rescued from the rubble.
This unique building is a testament to this partnership. There were some talented wood carvers amongst the prisoners who produced a range of lovely pieces that enhance the building. These include a font made out of with a wooden cover and a carved phoenix on the altar front. A memorial wall inside the church commemorates their work.