In the Summer of 2021 an initiative was started at St Giles Church, Balderton to ask members of the congregation to knit, crochet or make from felt, red or purple poppies.  These would be attached to netting and then hung from the Church tower during the season of Remembrance.  This would honour the military personnel, civilians and animals that have lost their lives in conflicts all over the world since 1914.  It would also celebrate 100 years since the Royal British Legion was formed in 1921 to thank them for the tireless efforts they have made to support military personnel and families.  Little did the organisers know at the time that it would also mark the closure of the Balderton Branch of the Royal British Legion as it has now amalgamated with the Newark Branch.
As sometimes happens, initiatives like this spark the imagination of more than the congregation and it spread out to the wider community.  The church was overwhelmed by the support and over 3000 poppies have been received.  Donations have been received from Barnby Gate Academy knitting club, most of whom learnt how to knit specifically to produce a poppy.  A teenager learnt to crochet as part of her Duke of Edinburgh challenge.  We had a lady of almost 87 knit a large number and a gentleman make some in wood.  So many other people produced beautiful poppies; too many to mention.

The next stage was to attach the poppies to the netting.  Over 40 volunteers have participated over many hours to attach the poppies. 

Next came the difficult part.  The net was raised on to the church tower on Monday 1st November at 11am and  members of the community were invited to come to witness this unique event. The bells rang to announce to Balderton that the net was in place.  St Giles was open for private prayer until 1pm and for people to see how the church was decorated with even more poppies that have not been put onto the net. 

The church will again be open on November 11th between 11am and 1pm.

The organisers wish to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to make this event possible.  The net will be in place during the whole of November.  A collection bucket will be available to make donations to the Royal British Legion when the church is open.
Linda Lawrence
6 Collinson Lane

A massive thank you also to our own Linda Lawrence for co-ordinating this wonderful community project.