Net of 2,600 handcrafted poppies hangs at Markham's Grace Church for Remembrance Day

A huge poppy net hanging down from the roof and bell tower has been on display at Markham’s Grace Church since Nov. 10.

This project started with a small altar piece made for the Nov. 11, 2021 Remembrance Sunday service. The church then asked their parish, friends and family from near and afar to help make poppies for the next year’s large display.

“We knit and crocheted until the end of September and then sewed the poppies onto netting through October and early November,” said Maria Castle, the Parish administrator.

Castle is not sure exactly how many people were involved because friends, family, friends of friends, and people who don’t come to the church all participated.

Anyone who could crochet or knit and wanted to help could contribute, she said, those who could not knit or crochet, donated yarn and more recently others helped to sew and put up the display.

Overall, they had approximately 2,600 poppies handed in. Every poppy that was made is on display, whether it be big or small, magnificent or less magnificent.

The last three weeks saw a huge effort on the part of getting the poppies sewn onto the netting to ensure they could get the installation up before November 11.

Every effort is worth it. “People are stopping and taking photographs, calling, sending emails, and dropping into the church to tell us how nice it is,” Castle said, though this is the first year the display has gone up, the church is pleased with attention it is receiving and the focus it brings to Remembrance Day.

Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Economist & Sun