As the fatalities to COVID-19 continue to rise, Remember Me has seen nearly 5,000 people memorialised on the online book of remembrance. Faith leaders across the UK have offered their support to the interfaith project 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.”
Many families and friends have been finding new ways to grieve their loved ones and support one another. Some are leaving memorials on Remember Me. Many others are also finding support on online forums, such as the Yellow Hearts Facebook group.
David Gompertz of the Yellow Hearts group, said: “Although the number of people dying as a result of COVID-19 is falling, the hurt that individual families are going through is just as great. Our loved ones are not just a statistic, and we thank St Paul’s Cathedral for recognising this, and helping to ensure they are remembered. We feel that anything that can be done to comfort families in this difficult time is important, and that both the ‘Yellow Hearts to Remember’ and ‘The Remember Me’ campaign complement each other very well. The prospect of a physical memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral is something much looked forward to by many members of the ‘Yellow Hearts to Remember’ community. There will be a day when, irrespective of belief or background, we can come together, united by loss, and celebrate the lives of those who are deeply loved and who were taken too soon by COVID-19.”
St Paul’s set up Remember Me to enable families, friends and carers to record and mourn those who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The book of remembrance is open to people of all faiths, beliefs or none.
Those wishing to remember loved ones can submit, free of charge, the name, photograph and a short message in honour of a deceased person via the Remember Me website. Remember Me will be open for entries for as long as needed.
The intention is for Remember Me site to become a physical memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral, subject to funding. The Cathedral has approved designs for a new inner porch in the North transept and this would serve as a fitting memorial for all who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.