Thousands of hand-stitched poppies adorn Cambridgeshire church for Remembrance Sunday

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 10 November 2018

Swaffham Bulbeck knitted poppies cascade from the church tower, from left Anglea Roebuck, Margaret Roberts, Cyndy White, Alison Martin and Veronica Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell

Swaffham Bulbeck knitted poppies cascade from the church tower, from left Anglea Roebuck, Margaret Roberts, Cyndy White, Alison Martin and Veronica Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Craft group ‘Anglesey in Stitches’ marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War with a display of hand-sewn poppies

A curtain of thousands of hand-stitched poppies has been draped from the tower of one Cambridgeshire church for Remembrance Sunday.

The dramatic installation at St Mary’s Church in Swaffham Bulbeck is part of a project by craft group Anglesey in Stitches.

They decided to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with displays of crocheted and hand-sewn poppies around local churches and war memorials in the Anglesey group of parishes.

Veronica Stephenson, one of the organisers from Anglesey in Stitches, said: “The First World War was truly horrific, and we today cannot fully understand or comprehend how awful it was. But without their sacrifice, we might well not be here today and so we should respect and remember them and be grateful.

“Our group came up with the idea back in December 2017 for making the poppies to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. We set ourselves an ambitious target of 5,000 poppies – but we have ended up with close to 8,000, which is amazing.

“We asked the local community to get involved and we ran crochet workshops to teach people how to make poppies. We also went into schools in the area to help children make hand-sewn poppies and they all look wonderful. We want to thank everyone who has taken part.”

Smaller displays are also on show in churches at Stow-cum-Quy, Bottisham, Lode, and Swaffham Prior and around village war memorials.

Reverend Sue Giles, who is the vicar at the Anglesey group of churches, said: “The whole community has been involved in this project and everyone has a little stake in this act of remembrance. Some people have crocheted hundreds and some people have learned to crochet from scratch to take part, with the help of teaching from Anglesey in Stitches. It has been months in the planning and I don’t think we ever expected to receive so many poppies. It’s very satisfying to see them all on display.”

On Remembrance Sunday in Swaffham Bulbeck, there will be a parade starting from The Denny at 2.30pm followed by a special service at 2.50pm in St Mary’s. The Royal British Legion and other uniformed organisations will be involved. There will be children’s artwork on display inside St Mary’s and a map showing where poppies have been made.

Meanwhile, in Willingham the parish council has decided to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the war by commissioning a special memorial bench. This will be inaugurated as part of the Remembrance Sunday service.

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