Peace Doves opens at Liverpool Cathedral

Peter Walker, Peace Doves Installation images Liverpool Cathedral. Picture by Gareth Jones

18,000 paper doves are hanging from the ceiling of Liverpool Cathedral, in a mass participation art installation, created by renowned sculptor and artist Peter Walker. The doves are suspended on 15.5 miles of ribbon from the roof of the Cathedral, accompanied by a soundscape from composer David Harper. It was originally scheduled to open last May but was postponed due to the pandemic. However, before lockdown, visitors to the cathedral, along with local school children and community groups were invited to write messages of peace, hope and love onto thousands of paper doves.

The Dean of Liverpool, The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, said: “I have been reading some of the prayers and messages written on the doves from people, both young and old, they are incredibly moving.

 “From people paying tribute to those they have lost, to those wishing for better times and, of course, many wishing for peace.

“I hope that people will visit the installation and appreciate its beauty. I hope that people will come and stand, sit or lie under installation and look up at the doves and experience a sense of serenity and peace. 

“As a cathedral, we offer this space and this installation for you to reflect on the difficult times we have all been living through and we pray it will give comfort and joy.”

Peter Walker added: “This is the first artwork to be shown since the Cathedral re-opened and it has been created by the hands of the local community. 

“Thousands of children have participated in this project, writing messages of peace, hope and love onto the doves and I think that’s a really important thing to be doing at this time.” 

The installation officially opened on Friday May 21st as part of Liverpool’s LightNight event that evening. It will run until August 31st, 2021, with a series of special events, including talks, music, storytelling for children, yoga and the chance to dine under the doves. 

There are also a series of Quiet Hours for those who might find crowds daunting, for example, someone who has an autism spectrum condition or sensory processing differences. Due to COVID regulations, bookings must be made in advance to view the installation. 

To book your slot for May visit: https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/home/visiting-us/a-great-place-to-visit.aspx