At Long Last... - Reflection by Dean Sue


Read Dean Sue's reflection for Thursday, 20 May, 2021.

It’s been a very long journey for these doves! They must have had the longest migration journey than any other bird. Perhaps even longer than the dove that was released from Noah’s ark. Who knows?

I cannot tell you how good it is to have watched the building of the peace doves installation by the renowned artist Peter Walker. The installation has been planned for almost two years and we were meant to have the installation this time last year. The actual installation began last Saturday with the arrival of the large frame from which Peter has hung around 2000 doves and will be completed this evening in readiness for the grand opening at Lightnight tomorrow evening.

During the past few weeks there has been an industrious group of staff and volunteers stapling the doves into shape and on the back of each dove is a prayer. As I have wondered in to speak to the volunteers many have shown me some of the prayers. Prayers for peace, prayers for those who are sick with COVID, prayers for those who have died. These prayers come in many different languages and from people of all ages.

The dove has been a symbol for peace since the beginning of time. In the Book of Genesis, we hear the story of Noah and the release of the dove as the waters subside. The doves were seen as harbingers of peace and symbols of hope and new life.

There has not been much peace over the past year as we have battled with COVID 19. This battle continues and of course we have now seen the devastation of war in what we would call the Holy Land. So more now than ever we call and pray for peace among peoples and nations.

So what is peace? Peace or shalom is an internal tranquility. A feeling of rightness with ourselves and the world. God’s wish for us is that we live free from fear, experiencing shalom, or peace. From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is packed with reference that emphasises God’s desire for a fear-free, peace-filled world.

Peace is one of the last gifts that Jesus gave to his followers during the last supper.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.

So as we gaze upon the Peace Doves Installation we need to continue the prayers written on the backs of the doves. We need to pray for peace in our world, we need to pray for the healing of the nations and we need to remember that we are all one human family called by God to live in peace.

So come and see the longest migrating doves. Come and reflect on the past year. Come and pray for peace in your own life, pray for peace in the lives of others, and pray for peace among nations.

Come and see the doves, harbingers of peace and symbols of hope and new life.

Dean Sue

While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website:

Image of Peace Doves installation by our official photographer Gareth Jones.