Revd Glen Macknight assists Ellen Miller with the knitting of one of the final poppies to be added to the cascade. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

Across the Diocese of Durham, churches and their communities are readying themselves to commemorate 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War.

Many churches are staging displays of poppies or other visual displays of remembrance. One such church is Hillside Church St Cuthberts Marley Hill just outside Gateshead, where a cascade of knitted poppies are seen emerging from one of its windows and falling like a river to the ground.

The Poppy Cascade is finalised at St Cuthbert’s Church

(Picture: Keith Blundy)

The hundreds of hours of work on the display at the 19th-century church began many months ago when the knitting of more than 550 poppies commenced.

The project was conceived by Katrina Chapman who said: “At last year’s Remembrance Service I found it difficult to connect with the 112 names from Marley Hill and Sunnyside who sacrificed their lives for us in the First World War. I wanted to personally thank each and every one of them. I discussed my feelings with Vicar Glen and the possibility of making something in their memory for 2018. This led to many chats with friends at church and in the community as to how we could honour their efforts.

“The project was initially to knit one poppy for each soldier and display them against a church wall. As word spread many people asked if they could contribute. Crochet hooks and knitting needles sprang into action. This small project soon exploded and we realised that we would have enough poppies to achieve a cascade display at the front of the church.

“The community has certainly come together as a consequence of the poppy display. We received just under 3500 thousand hits on Facebook as people captured the idea and were knitting in hospitals, aeroplanes, even on holiday in the Caribbean and Miami. The sense of commitment has been breathtaking, stories like that of an 84-year-old lady knitting through the pain of arthritis in her hands, others with sticking plasters covering blisters from the knitting needles and crochet hooks.”

Revd Glen Macknight helps with the Poppy cascade installation.

Vicar of Hillside and Lobley Hill The Revd Glen Macknight said: “The display has been an amazing opportunity for the church and the community to come together in an act of remembrance and togetherness.”

Katrina added: “Every knitted poppy will be displayed in either the cascade or in a wreath that has been made to lie with the others on Remembrance Sunday.”

Churchwardens Martin Garfoot (L) and Ali Boyd (R) putting the finishing touches to the Hillside Poppy Cascade

Revd Glen added: “The people of Lobley Hill Community Centre are also making a valuable contribution having made a flag ‘lest we forget’, a large wooden poppy to be displayed outdoors, our messy church children have also decorated flags and made soldiers name tags as a fridge magnet these  will be placed on the church seats for people to take away.”

Eileen Miller (72), who was one of those responsible for knitting the poppies said: “This has been a great opportunity for the whole community to get involved and to work as one in this visual act of remembrance.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Durham said: “This simple but effective act of collective Remembrance is being repeated across the Diocese this week, culminating in hundreds of services on Sunday 11th November 2018. Anyone wishing to find a church to visit this Sunday can search on the  ‘A Church Near You’ website

Details on a range of services and acts of remembrance can also be found on our website “

Other Churches with visual remembrance installations include:


St. Cuthbert’s Church, Blaydon is open 10.00 to 14.00, Thursday 8th November to Saturday 10th November 2018. Come along to see our displays of poppies, war time pictures, war memorabilia and ‘There But Not There’ Silhouettes. Holy Trinity, Swalwell is open 10.00 to 12.00, Saturday 10th November 2018, Come along to see our displays of poppies, made by the local community.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY SERVICES 11TH NOVEMBER 2018 Holy Trinity, Swalwell at 9.00 including wreath laying at Swalwell Cenotaph St. Cuthbert’s, Blaydon at 10.15 followed by Blaydon Churches together 12.00 at Blaydon Cenotaph.

We have a cascade of poppies at the Font in Saint Aidan’s all made by parishioners approximately 1,000 in total have been knitted.

Also displays of WWI and WWII artefacts (items of military uniform) which will include a WWI Holy Communion set and a Monstrance used by the Royal Army Chaplains Department for services in the trenches.  There is also a Drumhead display.

Saint Aidan’s will be open for viewing: Thursday between 1.00pm – 4.00pm, Friday between 1.00pm – 4.00pm, Saturday from 10.30am – 2.00pm

On Sunday there will be the following: 10.00am Requiem Mass for those killed in both World Wars and every conflict since. 6.00pm Grangetown Remembers – this is an act of remembrance of those from Grangetown Parish whose names are on our War Memorial.  We will be remembering them through poetry, song (including a singalong of songs from both World Wars and songs performed by Grangetown Community Singers) and excerpts of letters.

Our address is: Saint Aidan’s Church, Ryhope Road, Grangetown, Sunderland, SR2 9RS

St Paul’s church and the Evenwood and Ramshaw history group’s joint poppy projects in our village. It has been a fabulous community effort with donations of knitted poppies, plastic bottles, materials and time to put them all together.

At St James Burnopfield we have a display of knitted poppies, memorabilia, bunting made by our local Cubs, Scouts and Beavers and information about those who died during the First World War and who are remembered on our Memorial plaque in church. This is all available for people to come and see each day this week as the church will be open from 2 until 3 pm (Monday to Saturday inclusive).
On Sunday our Remembrance Service will be at 1045am, including an Act of Remembrance at about 11 am focussed on the memorial, and we will then process to the Cenotaph in Burnopfield for the Community Act of Remembrance at noon.

“Poppy nets” inside and outside the Church of St. John the Evangelist.

The installation inside the church is the work of members of the congregation – made of nearly 1,000 knitted poppies.

Outside the installation was the initiative of the Civil Parish Council of Healeyfield: knitted and ceramic poppies, centred on a frame erected in the church garden.

Over 100 people gathered at St. John’s on the afternoon of Sunday 4th November to make a formal start to a week of Remembrance – with a speech from the Council Chairman, Adam Pearson; the addition to the installation of individually created tributes; poetry and prayer led by the Priest-in-Charge, the Revd. Martin Jackson; and then a procession led by three pipers to the Village Hall for a performance by children of Castleside Primary School and a Tea Dance.

Next Sunday, 11th November – Parade at 2.40pm from outside the church to the War Memorial for an Act of Remembrance in the detached churchyard at 3pm; 4pm Service of Remembrance in St. John’s Church.

Team poppy has covered Ferryhill town hall with a cascade of hand knitted poppies
On Sunday we have a march through the market square of all the uniformed organisations. This leads into a community and civic service at St Lukes Church  followed by an act of remembrance at the cenotaph at 11
There is also a short service and the lighting of the community beacon in the market Square/townhall at Ferryhill on sunday evening at 7
Parish of St Mary the Virgin Norton TS 201DT
Sat 10th November & Sun 11th November 10.00am to 4.00pm both days – “Norton Remembers
Commonwealth War Graves, World War One History, Open Church with Refreshments and Display of Memorial Books.
War-time Memorabilia, Information & Guided tours with Norton Heritage Group
Sun 11th November 10.45am Remembrance Sunday Commemoration with Two Minutes Silence
Sun 11th November 6.00pm ‘Norton Remembers‘ – Story and Song from the War Years inc. visiting Lutheran preacher from Neumunster, Germany
Gainford: Act of Remembrance 10.45am with 26 Fallen Tommies (see attached) at Memorial in Churchyard followed by Service of Remembrance in St Mary’s Church. 7.05pm our Bells will ring
Winston: Remembrance Service 6pm St Andrew’s Church followed by last post, lighting of Beacon (we’re one of the country’s 1000 beacons), and ringing of bell.

The Unforgotten, The stories of fifty-five men from the parish of St Cuthbert Benfieldside who died in the Great War.

A display in the church and church hall Saturday 10th November: 11am – 3pm

Sunday 11th November:  11.30am – 1pm There will be an Act of Remembrance on Sunday 11th November at 10.50 for 11am following our Parish Eucharist in the Church Hall at 9.30am

St Cuthbert’s Church and Church Hall, Church Bank, Shotley Bridge

St John’s has created a remembrance garden in Churchyard, Church will be open all Day Saturday. See St John the Evangelist Chopwell on Facebook.

Remembrance Service at Cenotaph 10.45 on Sunday

Sunday Parish Mass 9.30

Procession to Cenotaph for 10.45

See St John the Evangelist Chopwell on Facebook, Church is open all day Saturday

Remembrance Garden with cross for all the soldiers from Chopwell, in both world wars. Church decorated and new Memorial book of WW1 soldiers 200+ from this village

St.Gabriel’s Sunderland Sunday service wreaths will be laid by a serving member of the armed forces as well as children. Also, we’re open every day between 11 and 1 for anyone who would like to look at our displays.

St Peter’s Harton churchyard commemorates 33 soldiers who lost their lives during WWI. A new CWGC plaque has been received for the 100th anniversary, stating the presence of our war graves. But these are only a few of the men lost in the first World War.

At our Remembrance Service on Sunday 11th, each of the lost will be honoured by a cross in our remembrance garden. The 54th St Peter’s Brownies and Guides have located and identified each family monument with a knitted poppy, for people to see how many more were lost than shown by the war graves. Details of each individual have been researched throughout this year.

The vicar of Harton, Rev Kate Boardman, is the coordinator for the Diocese of Durham’s partnership with the North German Evangelical Church and she will be joined by her German counterpart Pastor Christa Hunzinger for a Eucharist for Peace before the Act of Remembrance in St Peter’s Churchyard (9.45am & 11am). They will jointly lay a wreath of poppies and forget-me-nots (the German symbol). In church an installation at the altar incorporates one hundred poppies, first world bayonets and original artefacts including a newspaper announcing the armistice.

At 4pm, St Mark & St Cuthbert, Cleadon Park will host a special service, ‘Voices of Lament and Hope’ which has been jointly written by Revd Dr Andrew Dowsett of Sunderland Minster and pastor colleagues from Hamburg, with bilingual readings and prayers reflecting memories, stories and letters of the large German community in South Shields and Sunderland at the time of WWI. All are welcome, especially the descendants of those families and today’s German community.


St. Saviour’s Church Shotton Colliery Durham   Over the last few weeks members of the Church and community have been knitting poppies to make a display inside the Church and has now been assembled for view.
Wednesday at 7.00pm St. Saviour’s will be having a WW1 Memory Evening Tasty Bites from 1914 music sing along, bingo and raffle.
On Saturday evening St. Saviour’s presents The joint Haswell and Shotton Parishes Festival of Remembrance to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War.  Featuring the NASUWT Concert Band.  Charting the history of the Great War using the stories of the men from the Parishes who fought and fell in the “War to end all wars.”  Starts at 7.00pm
Remembrance Sunday Parade at Shotton and our Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade will be heading up the Parade to the Cenotaph and then to St. Saviour’s Church
Christ Church Felling 10.00am
During our Service on Sunday there will be an Act of Remembrance.
Members of Christ Church have knitted the poppies displayed.
We have also been successful with an application to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and will have silhouettes as part of the There but not There installations.
As they are only being delivered today, sadly we do not have any photos of them yet.

PAGE BANK, WHITWORTH, BINCHESTER – Collieries long gone but their men who fought and died in the Great War are not forgotten.

Whitworth Church, near Spennymoor, might be small but it contains a war memorial to 24 men who went away to fight in World War One and who died as a result.  The men came from all over Whitworth Parish – Whitworth, Page Bank, and Binchester.  The collieries and the greater part of Page Bank are now long gone, and there is a danger that the contribution of these men will also be forgotten by all except their descendants.  Whitworth Church, therefore, decided to try to find out more about them as individuals.  The results of their research are now available in a new 36 page booklet about the men and the communities. VISIT A REMEMBRANCE WEEKEND at WHITWORTH CHURCH nr. Spennymoor – view displays about these men, life in the army and on the home front during World War One.  Copies of the booklet available £2.50 +pp

SATURDAY 10th November 10-4.00, SUNDAY 11th November 2-4p.m.

For more information or copies of the booklet, contact 01388 746002 or 817824.

There is a simple display of poppies along the path to the Church door at All Saints Stranton, Hartlepool.
The poppies have been made by all the children’s groups linked with the Church including the Boy’s Brigade, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.
The display can be seen at any time
All our services will include an act of remembrance on Sunday 11 November
8.30am Holy Communion (Common Worship)
10.30am Morning Worship for Remembrance Sunday

Holy Trinity Church, South Hetton are hosting a Folk music gig at the Robin Todd Community Centre on Saturday 24th November at 7.30pm. Tickets cost five pounds and are available from church members, the community centre, or Rev David Bond Telephone number: 01915269604 or pay at the door. Recent performances include SAGE Gateshead. This promises to be a great night’s entertainment.

Christ Church Front Street, Great Lumley
Opening times: Everyday from 3 pm till 5 pm from Wednesday 7th to Tuesday 13th inclusive.  Various displays of knitted poppies including an altar frontal which names the 50 people from the parish who fell in the First World War.
Services  :  Remembrance Service 10am followed by Act of Remembrance at 11am at the Lychgate.  Evening Eucharist at 6pm.

Middleton St George Remembers

A weekend of Events to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1

Saturday 10th November in The W.I. Hut. Refreshments available 10am – 4pm, A WW1 exhibition including information about the soldiers from MSG.

1pm to 3pm in the Community Centre, Art and Crafts Poppy making session – Poppies will be used to decorate the village

Sunday 11th November, 9.45am to 10.30am – St Laurence Church in St George’s Academy, Remembrance Service Leading to a Community Act of Remembrance at 10.50am The War Memorial at the Old St Laurence’s Church building

10am to 3pm  in the W.I. Hut, A WW1 exhibition including information about the soldiers from MSG.

11.30am to 1.30 pm in the Community Centre – Post Remembrance Service Refreshments

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