Fife congregation create Dove of Peace for Sri Lanka

A Dove of Peace created by a Fife church has been presented to a Kirk congregation in Sri Lanka.

Members of Auchterderran Kinglassie Parish Church fashioned it out of white ribbons that were hung outside the buildings in a show of sorrow and solidarity following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Columbo last year.

The colourful rug ragging artwork was presented to St Andrew's Scots Kirk in the Sri Lanka capital by former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Dr Russell Barr, on Sunday.

Rev Donald Lawrie
Rev Donald Lawrie and members of his congregation and the artwork.

He handed it over to church elders Lakshmi Seneviratne and Graham De Kretser and it is now framed and hangs in the manse occupied by minister Rev Ian Gilmour, who used to lead St Andrew's and St George's West Church in Edinburgh.

Solidarity with those suffering

Rev Donald Lawrie of Auchterderran Kinglassie Parish Church, said Christian neighbourliness is global.

"Atrocity should never be forgotten and we have not forgotten the murder of more than 200 people in Sri Lanka as churches and hotels were hit by multiple bombings last Easter Sunday," he added.

"World leaders from church, state and religious groups condemned the action as perpetrators of hate tried to cause division through introducing pain and suffering on the most important festival in the Christian Calendar.

"The Church of Scotland, in response to white ribbons being tied and displayed at the sites of the atrocity, was called by former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, to do likewise to demonstrate solidarity with our suffering sisters and brothers in Sri Lanka.

"When the ribbons outside our churches finally came down our pastoral care team produced a beautiful banner by turning their hand to rug ragging which depicts a dove.

"It is a tangible reminder that churches throughout Scotland have not forgotten people and that they continue to be held in our hearts as we pray for healing and restoration in Sri Lanka and for all who suffer at the hands of those who hate."

Scots Kirk Sri Lanka
Former Moderator, Very Rev Dr Russell Barr, presented the Dove of Peace to elders Lakshmi Seneviratne and Graham De Kretser, as the congregation gathered.

"Mr Gilmour said the artwork, which was also fashioned out of old t-shirts, was well received by his congregation.

"What joy and amazement was in the faces of our children and adults when they saw the colourful flag from Fife," he added.

"They could see the dove immediately and were so pleased that you have thought and responded to the terror attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Day."