Chelmsford Cathedral hosts its own tribute to soldiers and veterans

CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL has just unveiled a 20 metre long ‘River of Remembrance’ to pay tribute in this centenary year to the service men and women along with the many civilians who gave their lives or were injured in World War One.

The project has been a year in the planning and was the idea of Cathedral staff who had been inspired by the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation at the Tower of London in 2014.

‘We wanted to use the beautiful space of the Cathedral, to remember those who gave their lives in all wars and to support the work of the Royal British Legion in supporting former service men and women’, said Communications Manager, Clare Broome.

The installation at the Cathedral, however, will be incomplete when it goes on display on Monday 15 October and this is deliberate. ‘We wanted this to be an interactive display and hope that members of the public of all generations will come and buy a poppy and add it to the river which stretches from the gallery on the south side of the Cathedral all the way to St Peter’s Chapel which holds the regimental colours of local militia dating back to 1808. It is hoped that during the month leading up to 11th November, the river will grow and people will be encouraged to add the name of a family member to their poppy before adding it to the display. When we first contacted the Royal British Legion last year, to tell them about our plans, they were very excited that we were going to use the poppies in such a creative way to raise money and awareness of their work’.

Around 200 children will be visiting the Cathedral during the first couple of days and will have an opportunity to become some of the first contributors. The Cathedral is open every day between 8am and 6pm so there is plenty of time to add a poppy and support this worthy cause.

There are many events and services planned for 11 November, starting with a piper at 6am and finishing with a film at 7pm. Please see the Cathedral website or city publicity for details.