Yorkshire schools invited to plant a poppy in Great War act of remembrance

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RED POPPIES will be 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 the outbreak of the First World War.

Poppy packets are being distributed to every church school and churches across the new diocese and senior church leaders have designated April 30 as planting day for poppies, which were adopted as a symbol of remembrance after the war.

Church leaders are urging everyone to join them and sow their poppy seeds on that day to mark their identity as a new diocese together and remember all those who lost their lives in the Great War.

The new Diocese of Leeds, informally known as the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, comes into being on Easter Day (April 20) when the three existing dioceses of Wakefield, Bradford, Ripon and Leeds are formally dissolved.

Nick Baines, the new bishop designate for the new diocese said: “A century is not a long time, but only 100 years ago the world fell apart in the most violent way. This simple act of growing poppies reminds us of our past and is a very visual way of pledging ourselves to serve together in the future.

“I’m glad that our new diocese recognises the past while looking to shape the future. I’m proud to commend this campaign.”

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “Here in the grounds of Bishopthorpe, we too, are getting behind this community initiative. I have been inspired by the parishes of the new Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire and the Dales) and their shared efforts to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War”.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has recorded a short message urging people in all the parishes across the Church of England to plant poppy seeds “to remember the terrible events of the First World War and as a sign of our hope in Jesus Christ for peace in the future.”