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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

New artwork where every fallen leaf is a sign of 'HOPE'

Autumn leaves and a new artwork inspire a message from the Dean of Winchester this month - October 2021.

'The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations' (Revelation 22:2).

Dean Catherine Ogle describes a new art installation in Winchester Cathedral, which is using 'leaves' to tell a hopeful story for all times and all ages. Read an extract of her message below and you can also watch her current message about it on YouTube.

Very Revd Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester Cathedral

'"Leaves of the Trees" by Peter Walker is set around the Cathedral's High Altar. The installation consists of around five thousand metal leaves, lying on the floor, each stamped with the word "HOPE". I trust that these fallen leaves' she writes, 'will be a rich source of reflection for us all, giving us opportunities for a clearer view and a new perspective.'

'As many of us feel "stripped back" and aware of what has been lost in past months, the fallen leaves yet speak of hope. This might seem audacious, unless we remember that Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). The seasons of the year remind me that stripping back is often essential to re-growth and new life. As the leaves lie on the ground and nature seems dormant, the dead leaves are feeding the soil in preparation for the spring. As a poet has said of autumn,

"Deep in the dark earth, the year is young."'

'The metal leaves lie low on the ground and perhaps you will wish to come alongside them and pray. Our hope lies in humility, in accepting the reality of our creatureliness and our part in creation. Hope for the world lies in humanity learning to live in harmony with the soil, the sea and the sky. The fallen metal leaves may also remind us that "the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations" and cause us to look up and around for signs of healing and new life. Although leaves fall, trees remain deeply rooted, ready for new growth.'

'I do hope that you will engage with, and enjoy, the art installation. There is an opportunity for you to leave your own prayers and responses in the cathedral', she adds.




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