Paper doves to hang in Nave adorned with messages of peace

VISITORS are invited to leave messages of hope and peace and become part of Peace Doves, the latest art installation coming to Wells Cathedral in April.

Peace Doves is a large-scale mass-participation artwork created by artist Peter Walker and features about 18,000 paper doves suspended on ribbons from the Nave ceiling. The installation is lit in different colours and accompanied by a soundscape by composer David Harper.

The paper doves will be decorated with messages of peace, hope and love – many of which will be created by members of the local community, schoolchildren, parishes across the diocese, local businesses and organisations – all of whom are being encouraged to create their own peace doves to hang in their classrooms, shops and windows.

From now until the exhibition is installed, dove templates can be found on a special station in the North Transept for anyone to go in and create a dove to be included in the Peace Doves artwork which opens on April 26.

The Acting Dean of Wells, the Rev Canon Anne Gell, said: “Wells Cathedral is here to be a beacon of hope and light and we offer this space and this artwork to enable a sense of serenity and peace as people enjoy the Peace Doves and reflect upon the messages that make each installation unique to those who took part.

“We are living in turbulent and challenging times in which peace feels increasingly fragile, and so the messages that make up this installation have even greater poignancy.

“We look forward to welcoming people to the Cathedral and pray that all will find something here of reassurance, peace and hope.”

Peace Doves was first staged at Lichfield Cathedral in 2018 when it was designed to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. It has also been seen at several other Church of England cathedrals including Liverpool, Derby, Rochester, Sheffield, Chichester and St Albans.

Artist Peter Walker said: “I am delighted to bring Peace Doves to Wells Cathedral. Previous installations have been very well received and have created a prideful sense of community and togetherness.

“Sometimes, art has the ability to transcend just being an object and become the focus of our collective sentiments. That is the purpose of Peace Doves, which allows thousands of people to create, and express their own personal emotions as part of an ensemble which produces a beautiful final composition, and a series of smaller community works.”

Peace Doves opens on April 26 and is open to the public until June 8. There is a series of special events, including children’s activities, storytelling, music from the Sound of Wells Festival, tours, educational visits, a specially designed prayer tree and a local shop window competition. There is more information on the website at