MSPs applaud "stunning, moving and humbling" poppy display

Tireless work to create a stunning display of more than 6,000 knitted and crocheted poppies outside an East Lothian Church has been commended in the Scottish Parliament.

Cross-party MSPs have signed a motion congratulating the members of Aberlady Craft Group on their “very special” installation ahead of Remembrance Day this month.

It was tabled by East Lothian MSP, Iain Gray, who described the cascade as one of the “most remarkable and memorable projects” he has ever seen.

Iain Gray Poppies
East Lothian MSP Iain Gray with Aberlady Craft Group members at the village Kirk.

The project is in aid of the charity Poppy Scotland, which provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community and their families at times of crisis and need.

The artwork is 40ft long and 11ft high and features poppies made by people from as far afield as Australia and France.

Mr Gray said: “Aberlady Church is one of the most scenically sited churches in my constituency and there are many.

“But this display of over 6,000 poppies knitted and crocheted by Aberlady Craft Group has made it something very, very special.

“The display is stunning, moving and humbling.

“The cascade has received international attention, but I think the biggest thing is the way it has inspired and brought the whole local community together.

“Along with the Craft Group and the Church, the local school and youth groups have been involved too, and poppies displayed in the church and on Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard.

“As MSP for East Lothian, I am always proud of the communities of this county.

“But this has to be one of the most remarkable and memorable projects I have seen.”

Peacemakers

Rev Brian Hilsley, minister of Aberlady and Gullane Parish Churches, said the display continues to attract large numbers of visitors on a daily basis.

“The admiration of all who visit is echoed by the many folk who have seen photographs online and it is particularly heartening to know that the Scottish Parliament has added its voice to that,” he added.

“The congregation of Aberlady Kirk is delighted to be playing a small part in this wonderful tribute to the Fallen in which, we hope and pray, there will be an added encouragement to everyone to be peacemakers in our own homes, workplaces and communities, day by day.

“The teaching of Jesus Christ makes it very clear that, ultimately, peace will come, not through the efforts of governments or institutions alone, but when it is embraced, sacrificially, in the heart of every individual.

“The sacrifices and sufferings of those whom this installation honours, should continue to humble and inspire us all.”