Durham Cathedral calls on people to help create Peace Doves for its upcoming summer installation

Over 15,000 paper doves created by visitors with messages of peace will be suspended in Durham Cathedral this summer.

Peace Doves, a mass-participation artwork by Peter Walker, is set to take centre stage in the Nave of the cathedral from 25 July. It will be made up of thousands of individually handmade paper doves which will be suspended above the Cathedral’s historic Nave.

The artwork will be set to music by composer David Harper making it an even more atmospheric experience. However before that date each of the 15,000 paper doves will need to be created by visitors to Durham Cathedral.

Andrew Usher, Chief Officer: Visitor Experience and Enterprise at Durham Cathedral, says,

“We’re delighted to be showcasing the Peace Doves installation this summer and we’re aware that it will take a long time to handcraft the amount of doves needed. So we’re now asking for the help of visitors, schools and local communities and inviting everyone to come and create one of the 15,000 doves that make up this meaningful installation. As a mass-participation artwork it’s a unique opportunity for people to be involved in creating something truly special.”

From Easter Monday, 1 April visitors, groups and local communities are invited to head to Durham Cathedral and create a dove for the installation. People will be given a paper dove on which they will be encouraged to write a message of peace, love, friendship or hope.

The Very Revd Dr Philip Plyming, Dean of Durham says,

"Jesus said 'blessed are the peacemakers' and certainly in our world today peace is needed more than ever. The Peace Doves installation represents a chance for people of all faiths and backgrounds to come into this historic house of prayer and offer their own different voices, wishes and prayers in the cause of peace. I am looking forward to welcoming people from across our communities to Durham Cathedral to be part of this remarkable artwork and offering to God."

The final result, which will be installed on 25 July, will give the sense of serenity and peace. As the paper doves are illuminated and hung from the Nave, visitors are invited back to the cathedral to see if they can find their dove and reflect upon other public messages of peace - making this installation unique to those who took part.

A programme of events will accompany the installation, including late night openings, family activities and a special Evensong on Sunday 28 July, 3.30pm to reflect on the artwork and pray for peace.

Visitors will be able to make a Peace Dove every day in Durham Cathedral from Monday 1 April to Saturday 20 July. The installation will open to the public at Durham Cathedral this summer, from Thursday 25 July until Wednesday 4 September. There is no admission charge to enter the cathedral, donations are welcome.