World War 1 Commemoration

From July 2014 all new materials and events will only be added there. There is no point in us maintaining two lists.

Poppy very small copyResources to assist parishes and communities in commemorating the First World War are gradually being released, and will be added here as available.

Poppy very small copy
The Church of England has released prayers and other resources to commemorate the Centenary of World War One

Prayers, music, literature and art are part of a pack of resources released by the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission today for parishes and groups to use to commemorate the centenary of World War One.

Specifically, it includes:
A selection of suitable readings from the Bible
Appropriate hymns, songs, music, literature and art
A selection of different kinds of prayer (including a Litany of remembrance)
An outline for a service around a War Memorial
An outline for a Vigil Service on 3 or 4 August 2014 (marking the centenary of the Declaration of War)
Material for use in a Requiem Eucharist.
Further material will be made available throughout the years of commemoration up to 2018.

Click on

Poppy very small copy
A Church of England briefing notes for parishes, written by The Dean of Salisbury, can be seen at
Briefing Note for Parishes – Dec 2013
You will need to save and then rotate to view correctly.

Poppy very small copy
For a variety of resources for adults and children, including an excellent DVD and a guide for churches and communities wishing to commemorate War,  see the ‘Hope’ Website at

Poppy very small copy
‘The First World War Then and Now’. The Heritage Lottery Fund has grants available for some community commemorations of WW1. See

Poppy very small copyDetails of events so far arranged by Guildford Diocese can be found at Publicity about all events March 2014

Poppy very small copyCopies of the 1914 ‘Active Service Gospel’ as given to servicemen at the time can be obtained from SGM Lifewords at

Poppy very small copySurrey Heritage have a project that relates to the commemoration of WW1 that may be of interest. It is called “A County Remembers: Surrey in the Great War”.
The vision for the project is to create a publicly accessible website exploring the impact of the First World War on Surrey’s towns, villages, communities and residents. The lives and experiences of the County’s people will be actively researched by participants from schools, communities and organisations and will be enhanced with public contributions of family documents and stories. Full details via this link.

Poppy very small copy

Church plans for a 1,000 poppies to bloom for the Great War Centenary

Poppies will be grown in the grounds of parish churches and Church of England schools across the country as an act of remembrance for the centenary of World War 1 by the Church of England.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are both urging church schools and churches to plant poppy seeds with them on April 30 to commemorate the centenary of World War One and help make the country awash with poppies.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby , in an Instagram message, urges people to plant the 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.’

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu welcomed the poppy planting initiative and said: “I encourage parishes and church schools across the country to join together to make many thousand flowers bloom as a tribute to the sacrifice of past generations 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.”

Packs of Flanders poppies are on sale and can be bought at B&Q for £2 with a pound being donated to the RBL.

Resources including a special prayer are available at

Poppy very small copy

Bible Society is marking this anniversary with an illustrated collection of psalms, poems and personal stories to aid reflection about the War. Adaptable to different circumstances, Hear My Cry also contains hymns and prayers and will be suitable for religious and civic ceremonies as well as for individual, personal use.

The majority of the personal stories are drawn from original research among families whose ancestors fought or died in the War. Many of the soldiers’ Bibles have survived, some with dramatic evidence of the part they played.

Sister Wendy Beckett provides a commentary on paintings by Pieter Bruegel and John Nash, and the moving words of poets such as Wilfred Owen, Eleanor Farjeon and Siegfried Sassoon are represented alongside other voices from the war years.

Hear My Cry also features a Foreword written by General the Lord Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff 2006-2009.


  • selection of over 40 Psalms interspersed with poetry, personal stories from the war, archive photos and pictures, prayers and hymns
  • commentaries by Sister Wendy Beckett on paintings by Pieter Bruegel and John Nash
  • useful for religious and civic ceremonies and for people to take away
  • a tool for personal reflection that is adaptable to different circumstances, individual and corporate
  • an edition small enough to pocket yet detailed enough to engage.


Available at

For more stories and resources visit 

 Poppy very small copy
Vigil for the outbreak of World War 1. Westminster Abbey have some very useful vigil resources for marking the anniversary of the outbreak of war.
Poppy very small copy
Silent Night Carol Services
At the end of 1914 as the Newcastle Evening Mail reported it:  ‘On Christmas Day one of the Germans came out of the trenches and held his hands up. Our fellows immediately got out of theirs, and we met in the middle, and for the rest of the day we fraternised, exchanging food, cigarettes and souvenirs. The Germans gave us some of their sausages, and we gave them some of our stuff. The Scotsmen started the bagpipes and we had a rare old jollification, which included football in which the Germans took part. The Germans expressed themselves as being tired of the war and wished it was over. They greatly admired our equipment and wanted to exchange jack knives and other articles. Next day we got an order that all communication and friendly intercourse with the enemy must cease but we did not fire at all that day, and the Germans did not fire at us.’
In some parts of the line soldiers sang Silent Night Together.
‘Hope’ are preparing a resource pack to facilitate Silent Night Carol Sevices recalling these events, which includes:
*A Silent Night Carol Service programme with the words of the carols and an introduction to the theme, sponsored by a Christian charity
*A How-to guide prepared by Bolton Wanderers’ Chaplain and Bradford Bulls Chaplain who have both staged stadium carol events in previous years
*Scripts and ideas for short talks
*A video interview with a top football player
HOPE is working with Sports Chaplaincy UK to equip local clubs, community groups and churches to stage the events. Pilot events have been held in several stadia – indoors and out in the stands. In 2011 Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Aldershot Town and Shrewsbury Town held community carol services and started a movement that has since spread to other clubs.
For further details go to
Poppy very small copy
The Evangelical Alliance website have a comprehensive list of resources available, including
– 10 suggestions of ways to commemorate the anniversary
– Ideas to commemorate the centenary of the First World War from the
    Rochester Diocese
– War poems with a Christian theme
– A list of resources that highlights the contribution that black and Asian people 
    made during the First World war

Poppy very small copy

The Government First World War centenary anniversary website:

Poppy very small copy

The official First World war centenary website:

Poppy very small copy

There is a Quaker website with information about conscientious objectors, Friends ambulance units and Friends War victims committee

The white feather diaries is an online storytelling project that will take place for three years.

Poppy very small copy

Barnabas In Schools What Price Peace Resources for use with primary children

 Poppy very small copy

Aldershot Deanery in partnership with military chaplains have produced an extremely helpful guide which can be accessed at  WW1 Resources Aldershot Deanery Essential reading for any parish planning commemoration activity.
This entry was posted in Special Events and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s