Collective voice of Church called for with Dove of Peace campaign

The Moderator of the General Assembly has urged congregations across Scotland to display their collective desire for world peace through an innovative doves of peacecampaign.

Rt Rev John Chalmers will be presenting doves - made from pieces of glass picked from the rubble of past invasions of Bethlehem - to those he meets in the UK and beyond during his Moderatorial year.

This action follows the emergence of numerous conflicts across the globe, including Gaza where a peaceful resolution was called for by the Moderator in a statement last week.

The Church of Scotland's 1400 congregations have been asked to create doves using a cut-out template and send them to Mr Chalmers by August 31. A sample will form part of a window display at Church Offices in Edinburgh. Most will be presented to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Chalmers said: "For me this dove holding an olive branch in its mouth is a symbol of hope and the artwork itself shows that something beautiful can arise from the ashes of despair.

"I hope that this little project to make doves will be taken up by every congregation and that when they are all gathered in they can be used to declare our support for finding peaceful means to resolve conflicts across the world.

"Most particularly, however, it is my prayer that a just peace will reign for Israelis and for the Palestinian people, whether in Gaza or in the place where this symbol was first conceived and where the glass doves are being crafted."

Services across Scotland for the next two Sundays have also been asked to use a prayer for peace adapted from one used by Mr Chalmers at the General Assembly in May. Moderator's message and prayer.

Congregations are asked to download a template of the Dove of Peace, write the name of the congregation on the dove, and post back to the Moderator addressed : Moderator, Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN.

You may wish to encourage members each to make a dove or use it as an activity with children or other church groups meeting this week.

Mr Chalmers says hehopescongregations will use the doves to createa display, and email a picture or video message so they can be shared with the whole Church.

Images of the dove displays can be sent to the Church of Scotland communications team at peace.churchofscotland@outlook.comImages in landscape (horizontal) format display best on the website.Visit our Facebook page to view the gallery of images.

The Right Reverend John Chalmers can be heard discussing the Church of Scotland's statement on the crisis in Iraq on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, from 02.15.25 into the programme. The link is active until Thursday 21st August.