New Peace Woodland will be blessed on Easter Sunday

Published on: Thu, 21/03/2019 - 16:00

Tree planting

aster Sunday service is on April 21 at 11am in Lichfield Cathedral followed by prayers and blessing at the new Peace Woodland in Beacon Park at 1pm. Join in the service at 11am; meet outside the cathedral at 12.30pm or at the Peace Woodland for 1pm.

Easter Sunday is all about new life and resurrection, so for Lichfield Cathedral it is a perfect time to celebrate what is believed to be the first Peace Woodland planted outside Jerusalem ahead of an official opening in early summer. 

Over 1,300 people have dedicated names of friends, departed loved ones, or living family members to this unique project marking the Centenary of the First World War, which has been planted in a nearby community park.

Invitations have just gone out to the 1,328 sponsors inviting them to the Easter Sunday service on April 21 before walking to the newly planted woodland for prayers and a blessing.

The Peace Woodland – a permanent living artwork created from 1,918 sapling trees in Beacon Park, Lichfield - is the brainchild of the cathedral’s artist-in-residence, Peter Walker. 

Lichfield Cathedral worked with Lichfield District Council and an army of volunteers to save, pot, nurture and plant these young saplings to create a lasting memorial to peace for everyone to enjoy. 

Only last week the Parks Department put the finishing touches to the project when they planted a Cedar of Lebanon tree in the middle of the maze-like Peace Woodland.

A six-foot bronze plaque will be unveiled by the Local Authority in early summer bearing the names of all those who sponsored the project - many chose to inscribe the names of relatives who lost their lives in the First World War. 

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said: “The Peace Woodland was at the heart of our Armistice year here at Lichfield Cathedral. It is fitting that on Easter Sunday, when we celebrate new life and resurrection, we bless the new life and hope symbolised by this permanent living artwork. 

“We are grateful to everyone who chose to sponsor and dedicate a tree and be part of this peace project during 2018. We also thank the District Council and all the volunteer tree planters who have brought this vision to reality.

“We hope the Peace Woodland will become a potent symbol: one that reminds us of the sacrifices made in war, and our ambition always to strive for peace, for freedom, and for hope.

The saplings were first exhibited in temporary woodland planted in front of Lichfield Cathedral last summer as part of The Great Exhibition: Imagine Peace by the artist Peter Walker – part of the Cathedral’s year-long series of worship, music, art and special events to commemorate the 1918 centenary.

Peter, who has spent time working with the volunteers at Beacon Park Community Garden said: “This project really caught the imagination of the volunteers here - they have become part of this creative installation of living art.” 

Paul Niven, Community Gardener for Lichfield District Council, said: “It’s such a privilege to have been involved in this important project. 

“We’ve worked hard caring for and planting these 1,918 saplings and the Peace Woodland will be a wonderful new addition to Beacon Park.”

Easter Sunday service is on April 21 at 11am in Lichfield Cathedral followed by prayers and blessing at the new Peace Woodland in Beacon Park at 1pm. Join in the service at 11am; meet outside the cathedral at 12.30pm or at the Peace Woodland for 1pm.

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