Poppies will be grown in churches and church schools across the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales as a joint act of remembrance for the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Poppy packets are being distributed to every church school and church across the diocese.

Senior church leaders have designated April 30 as poppy-planting day and are urging everyone to sow their poppy seeds on that day to mark their identity as a new diocese together and remember all those who lost their lives in the Great War.

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales comes into being on Easter Sunday, April 20, when the dioceses of Bradford, Wakefield, Ripon and Leeds will be dissolved.

The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, bishop designate for the new diocese, said: “A century is not a long time, but only 100 years ago the world fell apart in the most violent way.

“This simple act of growing poppies reminds us of our past and is a very visual way of pledging ourselves to serve together in the future.

“I’m glad that our new diocese recognises the past while looking to shape the future. I’m proud to commend this campaign.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, welcomed the poppy-planting initiative.

He said: “Here in the grounds of Bishopthorpe, we too, are getting behind this community initiative. I have been inspired by the parishes of the West Yorkshire and the Dales and their shared efforts to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War.”

The Church of England has joined the Royal British Legion Centenary Poppy Campaign in partnership with B&Q which hopes to make the country awash with poppies during the next four years.

Packs of Flanders poppies are on sale at B&Q for £2 with £1 of every packet sold being donated to the Royal British Legion.