Remembrance at Lichfield Cathedral
White doves will be released for peace, poppies will flood the cathedral and the first trees will be planted in a new 'Peace Woodland' in nearby Beacon Park as part of Lichfield Cathedral’s programme of events and services to mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War.
This Remembrance programme is part of an innovative series of art, music and worship events run at Lichfield Cathedral throughout this Armistice year which has seen a new life-sized icon of Christ crucified installed in the nave and almost 12,000 visitors enjoy summer’s The Great Exhibition: Imagine Peace – an interactive sound and light installation created by the cathedral’s own artist in residence, Peter Walker.
Now artist, Peter, will bring Poppy Fields back to the Cathedral from its nationwide tour especially for Remembrance. Created and developed as multi-media artists Luxmuralis, Poppy Fields features a large-scale light and sound projection of poppies that will transform the inside of the cathedral, alongside poetry from World War One authors voiced by actor Eddie Redmayne.
It will open on Thursday 8 November, Friday 9 November and on Remembrance Sunday (7pm-10pm) as part of the cathedral’s programme of events.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said: “This is the final phase in our commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War. We must move from remembrance to an emphasis on peace and reconciliation. The loss of human life on the epic scale of World War One cannot and should never be repeated.
“Our new icon of Christ crucified and risen serves as a judgement on all human violence. Peter’s Poppy Fields reminds us of those who lost their lives and asks us, as it fills our cathedral with light and sound, to contemplate and reflect on the ending of the First World War.
“There will be a civic ceremony with an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial as usual, but there will also be a special service for peace when we will go outside and release doves in the Cathedral Close and plant the first trees in the new peace woodland in Beacon Park.
“I invite people to commit themselves to peace in this centenary year, whatever that peace might look like at home and abroad. Let’s honour the dead with a peaceful future, as their lives honoured every one of ours,” he said.
During the year, the Lichfield Historic Parks team and volunteers working with artist Peter Walker saved 1,918 local trees from being destroyed. The trees became a living artwork ‘Peace Woodland’ which was sited temporarily around the front of the cathedral as part of The Great Exhibition in August. Now the trees will be planted in Beacon Park creating the ‘Peace Woodland’ as a permanent place for people to visit and reflect.
The first trees will be planted on Armistice day and the 'Peace Woodland' will open at Easter 2019. There will be a bronze plaque as a dedication to peace; for £25 you can add a name – your own, a friend or a family member – to be permanently inscribed In The Name of Peace. Find out how here.
Poppy Field swill flood the cathedral with poppies on Thursday 8th, Friday 9thand Sunday 11thfrom 7-10pm. Tickets £4. Click here.
EVENTS AT LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL FOR ARMISTICE SUNDAY
Armistice Day Schedule:
6am a lone piper plays Battles O'er on Cathedral Green
10 am Civic Remembrance service – Civics will leave the cathedral around 10.40 to walk to Memorial Garden for Act of Remembrance and wreath laying.
11.15 am Imagine Peace service.
11.30 am White doves released on Cathedral Green as part of Imagine Peace service.
12.30pm Planting of first trees in peace woodland at Beacon Park with Parks Department.
5.30pm Requiem Eucharist for the Fallen of WW1
6.30pm Lighting of the beacon in the Cathedral Close
7-10pm Poppy Fields installation inside the cathedral
7.05pm Cathedral bells ring out for peace