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Lichfeld Cathedral
Imagine Peace: 20,000 Doves

Lichfield Cathedral was founded in AD 700, one of the earliest in the UK and a religious site of great importance. We serve the fifth largest diocese in England, a diverse community incorporating significant areas of deprivation in towns and cities such as Tamworth and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as rurally isolated communities. Our Strategic Vision 2014-2023 sets out one of our key roles as ‘nurturing Christian faith, worship and understanding through learning, exhibitions, events and interpretation of the Cathedral.’

Our Artist-in-Residence is Peter Walker. Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. He regularly collaborates with David Harper to lead Luxmuralis, a collaborative team of artists who take art, light and sound onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in public and unexpected places. Lichfield Cathedral is one of these places.


‘Imagine Peace’

Throughout 2018, Lichfield Cathedral is presenting a seasonal programme of services and events under the programme title ‘Imagine Peace’ to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. With support from Westhill Endowment, we are undertaking the largest-scale community participation art installation we have ever done, which involves our Artist-in-Residence working with local schools to create 20,000 paper doves; the doves will be suspended from the ceiling of the Cathedral’s nave throughout Advent and Christmas 2018, for which the theme will be ‘Peace on Earth’.

We aim to reach 20,000 young people, getting them to think about themes of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Each child will create a paper dove to the artist’s design as part of a lesson. They will develop and write on their dove a personal message relating to peace and forgiveness, and also learn about the historical and religious context for the dove as a symbol of peace. Our hope is that participating children will gain a greater understanding of these key concepts.

We also hope to engage with at least 30,000 visitors who will view the completed artwork inside the Cathedral during Advent and Christmas 2018.

Getting started

During August 2018, the Cathedral welcomed 12,000 people to The Great Exhibition: Imagine Peace. Our Artist-in-Residence transformed the internal spaces of the Cathedral through light and sound, creating a poignant and reflective landscape for people to Imagine Peace. Visitors were invited to create the very first doves with their own messages of peace. Thousands of school children across the diocese are now learning about peace and creating doves for the installation which can be viewed throughout December.

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