2014 is the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Over 16 million people died in the conflict (of which 6 million were civilians), and 20 million wounded.
Many churches may want to mark this anniversary, and below are some ways in which this could be done. We hope that the following resources will strike the right tone – remembering those who died before God, giving thanks for their lives, remembering the awful toll the war took – but never celebrating this conflict.
Poppies are being grown in churches and church schools across the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales as a joint act of remembrance for the centenary of World War 1.
Poppy packets were distributed to every church school and church across the new diocese and senior church leaders designated April 30 as poppy planting day. They asked everyone to join them and sow their poppy seeds on that day to mark our identity as a new diocese together and remember all those who lost their lives in the Great War.
The Church of England has joined the Royal British Legion Centenary Poppy Campaign in partnership with B&Q which hopes to make the country awash with poppies during the next four years. Packs of Flanders poppies are on sale at B&Q for £2 with £1 of every packet sold being donated to the RBL.
The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales has written a prayer for poppy planting day and has produced a how to grow sheet for your poppies.
Download the prayer here.
Download a 'How to grow' sheet.
Liturgical Resources produced by the Church of England
These include a wide range of resources to help parishes and groups mark World War One.
Prayers, music, literature and art are part of the pack which also includes:
• Readings from the Bible
• Hymns, songs, music, literature and art
• A selection of different kinds of prayer (including a Litany of remembrance)
• An outline for a service around a War Memorial
• An outline for a Vigil Service on 3 or 4 August 2014 (marking the centenary of the Declaration of War)
• Material for use in a Requiem Eucharist.
Download the Liturgical Resources.
Further material will be made available throughout the years of commemoration up to 2018.