max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Flood of knitted poppies transforms St Mary’s Church in East Bergholt

12:01 10 July 2014

St Mary's Church in East Bergholt has been transformed with 2000 knitted poppies and works of art to commemorate the Great War.
Caryl Smith with the poppies.

St Mary's Church in East Bergholt has been transformed with 2000 knitted poppies and works of art to commemorate the Great War. Caryl Smith with the poppies.


Hundreds of knitted poppies have embellished a Suffolk church with a sea of colour as part of a moving display commemorating the First World War centenary.

Worshippers at St Mary’s Church in East Bergholt carried out the striking transformation in memory of those who gave their lives for the freedom of others.

Flower arranger Caryl Smith, 66, said she was struck with idea after opening the church doors many months ago and suddenly imagining it “filled with poppies”.

“It just snowballed from there,” she said.

“I put out the request for people to send in their knitted poppies and we had them coming in from all over the county.

“We’ve got well over 2,000 of them now with more still coming in – I didn’t expect it to be so moving.”

The poppies have been sewn together in bundles of 200 and then fixed on four pillars in the church as part of a display, which includes paintings and a replica trench.

The paintings, many of which were produced by Mrs Smith’s fellow flower arrangers, feature interpretations of the ode of remembrance taken from Robert Laurence’s poem For the Fallen.

Mrs Smith said the verse was “extremely moving” and the artists’ interpretations had been a great success.

Reverend Canon Stephne van der Toorn, the rector at St Mary’s, said she was “very proud of everyone involved”.

“We are not celebrating war, we are remembering the enormous sacrifice that went on, not only for the men who went to war but also the women who stayed at home and the children who had to manage without their fathers,” she said.

The commemorative exhibition will remain on display until Monday, August 4, when a centenary service will be held.

Visitors are invited to view the display and can purchase spare poppies for a suggested donation of at least £1 to Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

Mrs Smith said the response had been very enthusiastic, with many visitors saying the church looks “absolutely stunning”.

“I’m just so grateful that so many people have visited and the money is coming in for the charities because they do such a fantastic job for our soldiers,” she said.

“We are trying to commemorate the fact that so many people lost their life fighting for our county to give us the freedom that we’ve got today – it just a pity that we don’t seem to have learned more from it.”

The church is open every day, with refreshments served between 10am-noon, Monday to Thursday.

1 comment

  • Well done to all concerned, such a noble thing to do. I visited here on the days leading up to this and the whole place was alive with wonderful people volunteering their time to remember others. So nice to find the spirit of brotherly love still out there. I took several photographs, my hobby is visiting all of the Suffolk Anglican Churches, I only have about 5 or 6 left (thats almost 500 visits, all recorded on my camera) these pictures can be seen at https:www.flickr.comphotoswisbeysets72157645219410489 if you are interested.

    The font at East Bergholt Church

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Friday, July 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Abnormal loads will be making their way along the roads of Suffolk over the next two weeks

Motorists in Suffolk are being warned to watch out for traffic delays as three abnormal loads slowly make their way long the county’s roads over the next two weeks.

The 352d Special Operations Wing held a memorial on June 20 to say goodbye to SSgt Hunter Davis of the 352 SOMXS who lost his life in a tragic vehicle accident June 7.

Sending a text while driving most likely caused the death of a Suffolk airman, who lost control of his car moments after using his phone, an inquest has heard.

Archant Suffolk have moved into their new
 offices at 120 Princes Street, Ipswich.

Archant’s new Suffolk headquarters opened for business this morning at the junction of Princes Street and Portman Road in Ipswich.

The cake was missing a few cherries and the squirrel has lost his nuts

My husband baked a cake. I was warned this could happen, writes Lynne Mortimer.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

A motorcyclist has been injured after a collision with a car in Bury St Edmunds.

Police closed a Sudbury road after a car collided with a utility pole

Dozens of homes are without power in Sudbury this afternoon after a car collided with a utility pole.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24