A MATHS teacher turned master craftsman from Abergavenny is spreading hope across the town with the help of more than one hundred paper doves.

Simon Meredith was doing his daily walk at the start of lockdown in March when he passed St Mary’s Priory Church and he said it hit him how “dark, empty and depressing” the church looked.

“VE Day was coming up and so was Pentecost, and I was thinking the church could really do with a symbol of hope,” he said. “I channelled my inner Banksy and put six doves on the gate of the church.”

The doves caught the imagination of a town determined to get back on its feet, and demand for them started to grow.

South Wales Argus:

Simon Meredith

Mr Meredith started his own social media account ‘Doves of Hope’, and started putting the creations around the town.


“At that point not many of the shops were open, but Tesco and Paul Cable newsagents got on board and I drew a template and the two shops became the hub to collect the doves.”

South Wales Argus:

Mayor Tony Konieczny

Abergavenny Town Council asked Mr Meredith to decorate "Red Square" on the high street in the town, and mayor Tony Konieczny also got involved.

“Since then the doves have been popping up everywhere,” said Mr Meredith.

“I’d like to think the doves represent a community coming together and the hope that things will get better.”

South Wales Argus:

Now most of the independent businesses in the town have Mr Meredith’s doves, and some have been personalised, with a few carrying sanitiser, and others with a cone of chips.

Ginevra Croft, owner of the Wool Croft on Nevill Street, said: “I was so impressed with Simon’s drawings of the doves and thought it was a perfect way for us as local businesses and local people to show some solidarity with our customers in this situation we’re all in, as a community.

“The doves seemed to connect us all up across the town. I’m thrilled to have one at the shop.”

South Wales Argus:

Ginevra Croft

If you are in Abergavenny any time soon, keep your eyes peeled for the creations - you cannot really miss them.