White doves have started appearing on churches across several Welsh towns. The art pieces, which have been handcrafted by a local parishioner, are designed to be a symbol in this time of national crisis and have been popping up on church gates, above sanctuary doors, and even in people's windows over recent weeks.
The man behind the art, teacher and Abergavenny local, Simon Meredith, explained how the doves represent "a powerful symbol of the Holy Spirit and God’s love for us."
Explaining more about the vision behind the installations, Meredith said: "The doves started when I was on one of my early morning exercise walks. I walked past a locked-up church and it seemed a dark empty place. So I embraced my inner Banksy, made six cardboard doves and hooked them on the gates. The people of the town responded well and now there are doves on all the churches in Abergavenny and they are starting to appear in shops and people’s windows."
He added: "I have always loved arts and craft and I’m keen to be involved in art installations. So I am using my skills to share hope with my town and bring people together. Church has always been part of my life and I’m looking for ways to link my skills in craft with the church. It is particularly appropriate to use doves now as we will be celebrating the Holy Spirit in the season of Pentecost or Whitsun at the end of May."
In a bid to see the idea take off, Simon has created a printable template to show people how to make their own dove. "It’s a drawing activity for all ages," he said, "they can draw a dove or just colour one in."
Doves have now started popping up in other towns, including Newport, Tredegar and Pontlottyn.
"I hope the idea takes off," Simon said.
You can watch the video below: