A Light of Hope will illuminate Carlisle skies on Sunday 1 November as part of a nationwide art installation for All Saints and All Souls Days.
Carlisle City Council’s Discover Carlisle team has joined forces with Carlisle Cathedral and acclaimed artist Peter Walker to provide the beams of light from the Cathedral grounds between 6pm and 10pm.
Carlisle will be joining the other Cathedral cities of Chelmsford, Carlisle, Ely, Exeter, Salisbury, Lichfield and Liverpool who are planning to project beams of light into the night sky through the evening of November 1 to light up the sky as beacons of hope.
The project, Light of Hope 2020 has been created by Peter Walker, the artist in residence and creative director at Lichfield Cathedral to mark the significance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day - important days in the Christian calendar which have particular relevance this year in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Peter first produced the digital art installation for Lichfield Cathedral in 2018 and 2019 when three beams of blue light pierced the skies above the Cathedral and could be seen for miles around. He wanted other churches and cathedrals to join in and become beacons for all around them, offering a collective moment for people to be part of, but from a safe distance. Peter was also the artist responsible for the event SPACE: God, The Universe and Everything, which was the centrepiece for Carlisle’s first City of Lights event in February 2020.
Peter said: “Light of Hope is an opportunity for a moment of togetherness; even though we can’t be together right now. It offers us the opportunity to collectively remember those who have helped and given so much during this past year, as well as commemorating those we have lost and thinking of those we hold dear.”
Cllr Stephen Higgs, Carlisle City Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure said: “This is a great opportunity for Carlisle to take part in a commemoration of national significance. This is particularly important this year. Each and every one of us has been affected by the pandemic, and this is a fitting way to remember those we have lost, reflect on the struggles many have faced and to celebrate those who have worked hard to keep us safe and well.”
The Very Revd Mark Boyling, Dean of Carlisle added: “We’re thrilled to be part of the Light of Hope project. These are challenging times for everyone, and I hope the beams of light we create on November 1st will be a symbol of hope and consolation in a troubled world.”
The lighting scheme coincides with a service of thanksgiving for health and care services across Cumbria, also planned for Sunday 1 November at 6.30pm.
The service at Carlisle Cathedral will reflect the contribution made by health and care workers during the Covid pandemic and celebrate the work of those on the frontline.
As well as remembering NHS and care staff who lost their lives, the service will also celebrate the contributions made by all those who kept health and care services working, and the families supporting those staff at home.
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust Chief Nurse, Anna Stabler, said: “We want to remember and honour the contribution of our staff who passed away and also the enormous hard work and innovation of all health and care workers in the community, in our hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, mental health services, in supported living and those carers going into people’s homes as well as those providing an emergency response. While we all work in different settings, we all put our patients first, and we look forward to taking a moment to say thank you.”
Organised by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust with the support of other care agencies, the service will be live streamed.
The Carlisle Cathedral service is invitation-only. Anyone wishing to see the lighting scheme from within the city centre or outside Carlisle Cathedral is advised to follow social distancing guidance.