The beautiful village of Whitechapel near Garstang, in the Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has recently been the home of a special Poppy Factory. In this strange time of muted celebration of Remembrance, a group of children have been extremely busy creating poppies to decorate the church.
My friend Helen is one of the leaders and her own children aged 8 and 4 have kept Helen on her toes with their creative skills, They have been joined by other children of Messy Church at St. James’, where I had the privilege of being Vicar some years ago.
Helen sent copies of the Poppy paintings to The Royal British Legion and received an immediate response:
“Thank you, on behalf of the Royal British Legion for your support. We appreciate it.I would also like to pass a message on to your children. What wonderful drawings! So talented! I will make sure that the staff see these so that a smile can be brought to them as it did for me. Stay safe.”
The children not only loved making the poppy paintings but they also learned more about Remembrance Day. Helen was able to share with her children stories about their great-great grandfather who was a soldier in the First World War . Being a Lancastrian of farming stock he looked after some of the horses. The children were fascinated to hear about how his horses pulled cannons into battle.
These remembrance stories, handed on from generation to generation help us to engage continually with Remembrance as a witness not only to the overcoming of violence and conflict but also as a celebration of the human spirit which strives for the victory of love and goodness over darkness and evil.
This is a continuous struggle made all the more poignant in this time of Covid.