COVID19 Remembering Lives Lost

01st July 2020

Bereaved families and friends are being invited to remember their loved ones in an online memorial book launched at Manchester Cathedral next month.

Cathedrals remember those who have lost their lives to Covid-19

St Paul’s Cathedral launched the interfaith memorial website, Remember Me for people to remember those they have lost to Covid-19 which has seen over 5,000 names added since it was launched last month.

Rochester Cathedral lit 1,184 candles in the nave in memory of all those who had died with Covid-19 in the Medway area and county of Kent, and this week Norwich created a special memorial installation made up of 460 crosses representing each person who has died from the virus in their county too.

Elsewhere cathedrals have set up online prayer walls, prayer emails, and virtual candle lighting to support and help families and friends remember loved ones in these challenging times.

The online memorial is a joint project between Manchester Cathedral and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – which has seen 2,800 people lose their lives to the virus. It will be launched with a virtual interfaith service on July 16.

The Dean of Manchester, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, said:

“The pandemic has taken the lives of so many who are dear to us and our communities.

“Worse still, we have not been able to provide normal funeral gatherings, so people have not been able to provide that comfort and sharing in loss that is a normal part of bereavement.

“This online memorial is a place to remember all those who have died as a result of the pandemic in Greater Manchester, those of all faiths and of none.”

A special memorial to those who have died from coronavirus in Norfolk has been installed at Norwich Cathedral. Over 460 crosses have been placed in front of the altar by Revd Canon Andy Bryant, the Cathedral’s Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care to represent each person who has died from Covid-19 in the county.

A single candle has been placed in the middle of the memorial which on Monday was blessed by the Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham Usher when the public were able to view the memorial for the first time when the Cathedral reopened its doors for individual prayer.

The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care at the Cathedral, said:

“As we begin to move towards the lifting of lockdown it feels important to not forget all those who have died from Covid-19. At Norwich Cathedral we especially wanted to remember all who have died across the county of Norfolk. We chose the symbol of a cross to mark each life lost as it is the supreme symbol of the depth of God’s love for each one of us. The sight of so many crosses laid out together is a poignant reminder of how many families are grieving as a result of this pandemic.”

Last week St Paul’s Cathedral announced the interfaith Remember Me website set up for coronavirus victims had received about 5,000 submissions since its launch in May.

The project received support from UK’s faith leaders, including Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Chief Rabbi, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and a number of other Muslim leaders, and representatives from the Hindu Council UK and Sikh Council UK.

The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Ison, said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on everyone in our society. Those of us who are most keenly feeling the effects of this terrible disease are those who have lost loved ones.

“As our normal way of life slowly re-emerges, we are urging everyone not to forget the many thousands of people who have died and the many more who are now bereaved and grieving. We are inviting those who have lost a loved one to the Covid-19 pandemic to leave a memorial on Remember Me to remember and mourn those they have lost.”

Rochester Cathedral spire has been lit up blue since lockdown in March as a sign of their constant prayers for those anxious, suffering and bereaved and as they remember and pray for all those working in the Health Service.

The Dean of Rochester, the Very Revd Philip Hesketh, lit 1,184 candles in the nave in memory of those who had died with Covid-19 in the Medway area and county of Kent with a prayer especially for these uncertain times.

A Prayer in a Time of Loss and Adversity
We hold before you each precious life that has been extinguished during this time of pandemic.
We remember those who watch, wait and weep
And whose hearts are broken;
Send them the comfort of your Holy Spirit.
And may those who have been taken from us
Forever shine in your presence and always in our hearts.
For Jesus Christ’s sake.
The Very Reverend Dr Philip Hesketh AKC DL Dean of Rochester

Cathedrals are opening safely across the country, find out more here.