We will remember them - moving displays mark Armistice centenary

Tens of thousands of knitted poppies have this year been used to create moving remembrance displays in churches across the diocese.

As the country commemorates the Armistice 100 years ago, 11am, on November 11 1918, the displays have appeared on cathedrals and churches large and small.

The 100th anniversary of the Armistice, the ending of the First World War on November 11, 1918, is being marked by special services and events throughout the diocese. Leading up to it, exhibitions have been mounted in many cathedrals and churches including Bradford Cathedral, Halifax, Dewsbury  and Leeds Minsters and Wakefield Cathedral.

Otley Parish Church has been covered with a stunning remembrance display which  turning heads in the town as it begins commemorations of  the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Sixteen thousand poppies have been knitted by local people and are now covering walls and spilling into the churchyard and beyond. Town councillor, Ray Georgeson, said, "This is a fabulous effort by all concerned to produce a fitting tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men, women and animals that fought so gallantly in the 1914-1918 war."

Elsewhere Rawdon parishioners are pictured creating their poppy display on cargo netting which was then pulled up the church tower to create the display. Vicar, Revd Mark Smith commented, “We had a crazy but fun morning sewing , sticking and tying on poppies, laying painted stones , decorating the Church and Churchyard at St Peters. Thanks to a great team of volunteers.”

Pictures below also depict spectacular poppy displays at Masham, North Stainley, outside Ripon Cathedral – the inside is equally stunning – and Halifax Minster, all contributed to the Leeds CofE Camera Club on Facebook.

Centenary art displays culminating in the Armistice centenary this November have also been a feature of commemorations, one of the most impressive being ‘Fields of Mud, Seed of Hope’ an art installation at Ripon Cathedral created using  earth from Passchendaele. Already hundreds of visitors have been to see the installation – as it gradually dries the figures of soldiers returning home from war are gradually being revealed.


A delegation from our link diocese of Hannover, led by Bishop Ralf Meister and including the Girls’ Choir of Hannover will be taking part in services at Ripon Cathedral and Halifax Minster. On Remembrance Day itself, Bishop Ralf will preach at Ripon.

Bishop Nick Baines, who will accompany him, says, “Only a few decades ago such an event would have been unthinkable. But, today we have strong relations with those who were once enemies."

At Wakefield Cathedral a single poppy will be projected onto the tower  in the run up to Remembrance Sunday when it will be  flooded red with light to mark the end of the Centenary of the First World War.

The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Simon Cowling said: “The Cathedral has been the spiritual heart of our city for over a thousand years and belongs to us all. As we mark the hundredth anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, it is our privilege to invite all people of goodwill to share in the programme of events at the Cathedral this Remembrance-tide. I hope that what we are offering will enable people of all faiths and no faith to feel a sense of community solidarity and to express a collective desire for peace and reconciliation between the nations.”

More about Wakefield Cathedral events for Remebrance here 


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