Salisbury Cathedral is holding a meditation - a short service of readings, hymns and prayers - entitled Listen Sweet Dove: Meditation on Les Colombes on Sunday 15 July at 15.30-16.00.
Originally part of our New Dawn events programme to mark the end of World War I, Les Colombes’ message of peace, hope and new beginnings is even more poignant as Salisbury and its communities face the aftermath of the nerve agent attack in the city in March, including the tragic death of Dawn Sturgess on Sunday 8 July and the critical condition of Charlie Rowley.
Speaking about the service, the Acting Dean, Canon Edward Probert said: “Although this meditation was planned a long time ago, in the light of recent events it seems all the more important to find time to pause and take stock. Along with those who died so tragically in World War I, on Sunday we will also remember Dawn and her family, and pray for Charlie and the Skripals. The attack has had a devastating effect on all their lives and has impacted our whole community. In the quietness of this meditation I hope we will to find strength and resolve.”
Wherever Les Colombes has been exhibited the artist Michael Pendry has encouraged community groups and individuals to fold their own doves, which he includes in the current and future installations. Pendry’s doves have also been adopted by shops, businesses, schools and individuals, who have joined in making and displaying them in their windows as a simple but powerful symbol of the city’s resilience and the hope of renewal.
“It has been very moving and humbling to observe how Les Colombes has been received and to witness the doves moving out into the community. It was my intention to create a statement about the right to peace and freedom, and to carry that message across the world by including doves folded in one location in future installations. My hope is that this flock will grow carrying the message of peace, freedom and sustainability in a world of change and disturbance across all borders.”
The service will take the form of a journey - physical and spiritual - around the Cathedral, starting at the Spire Crossing. At each point reflecting on what Salisbury’s poet George Herbert called this ‘sweet dove’. It will be led by Canon Charles Taylor, Associate Canon of Salisbury Cathedral.
For others who would prefer to take a quiet moment by themselves, there will be another late-night opening of Les Colombes after Evensong on Thursday 12 July with the special light and sound display.
Les Colombes will remain in the Cathedral until 22 July.
For any other enquiries or further information contact: Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral email@example.com 01722 555148