A FIELD of poppies will appear in Barton later this year as a church moves to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Seeds were planted in St Mary’s Church off Bayswater Road last Thursday in a bid to help the estate remember those who have died in wars.

Church vicar the Rev Maggie Thorne said: “Apparently planting them on May 1 will ensure a good display in August so it falls on the right time for the centenary.”

It comes as the Oxford Mail last week announced it was giving away 5,000 packs of poppy seeds.

The seeds were sent to the Barton church by the Oxford Diocese which is hoping every church in the county will grow the symbolic flowers.

But volunteers in Barton bought more seeds to ensure a full crop.

Ms Thorne said: “Every church in the Diocese has been issued with a pack of poppy seeds with the idea of turning all churchyards into fields of poppies so our church is seen to be marking the event.”

She also said the church was next door to the Royal British Legion building in Edgecombe Road, adding: “I think it makes it a bit more special as well.

“It is a nod in their direction.”

She added: “It is just nice to tell the community that the church is going to mark this particular event. I was very keen to do this because the church is so visible and the poppies are going to be planted in such a way that anyone coming in or out of the estate will see them.

“Hopefully they will see a field of poppies and remember the lives lost in the First World War.”

Diocese spokeswoman Jo Duckles added: “We are delighted that churches and church schools in Barton and many other areas are taking the opportunity to plant poppy seeds.

“It is important that we remember those who died fighting in the First World War.”

To pick up your free poppy seeds get the Oxford Mail on Thursday.