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Soldiers in the pews at Spalding Parish Church

Spalding Parish Church is appealing for donations so poignant reminders of lives lost in the trenches can appear in the pews for the centenary of the WWI Armistice.

Parishes around the country are ordering figures of British soldiers to place around war memorials while churches – and other organisations – are making space for silhouettes to represent lost members of the community.

It’s part of the national “There But Not There” campaign, which is fundraising for six charities, The Royal Foundation, Walking with the Wounded, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, Project Equinox: Housing Veterans and Medical Students, and The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.

Mary Bennett, wife of Vicar John Bennett, said: “The silhouettes are different from the upright Tommies. They will be placed on pews in church where those who died would have sat Sunday by Sunday. They will be ‘There but not there’, a very physical reminder of those lost from our community.

“We aim to have 11 silhouettes in St Mary and St Nicolas – this is a random number showing the random way in which men and women lost their lives.”

The transparent silhouettes, made by The Royal British Legion Industries, cost £50 each, which St Mary and St Nicolas hopes to cover by donations. Donations can be placed in an envelope marked ‘There But Not There’ and placed in the offertory plate on a Sunday morning or left at the parish office, 1 Halmer Gate.

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