Inspired by installations in Canada and the UK, The Church of the Incarnation, Oakville has embarked on a Poppies for Peace project to honour the sacrifices of so many. We collected 5000+ poppies engaging parishioners as well as those from our community and beyond to participate in the project. Many people contributed their time and talents to crochet or knit poppies. We had groups of people helping to sew them onto a backing so that they could be displayed from our church roof and cascade into the wooded lot next to our church building. It was a beautiful art installation to see, but it was also an emotional and visceral reminder of those who fought for peace.
Our project grew from the original plan to create one large banner for outside the building to many displays both inside and outside the church. The outside banners were installed in the third week of October and stayed up until the end of November. We held an open house on November 6 which celebrated this project. There was music performed by our fabulous choir, refreshments, and information about our parish and some of the other initiatives we have on-the-go from community gardens to eco-justice.
In addition to the breathtaking banner running from the roof outside the church into the wooded lot beside it, over the signs at Dorval Drive and Old Abbey Lane, and at the Milton Road entrance, there were over one hundred poppies affixed to sticks and displayed on the walkways and within the wooded area for people to enjoy. There were numerous art installations on the inside of the church, including another long banner, along with wreaths, and crosses decorated with felt poppies also created by parishioners. An interactive candle table and meditative space was a nice finishing touch for those visiting the inside of the church at the open house. They could light a candle in honour of peace or in remembrance of someone they knew who fought for peace.
Co-coordinators Pearl Moffat and Leslie Hickey plan to expand the project for next year adding additional banners to the outside and other projects for the inside. The outside banner was lit up at night, creating beautiful shadows from the spotlights against the banner and were a visual reminder of those fallen but never forgotten.