Greater Manchester to remember lives lost to Covid-19

People in Tameside and Oldham who have lost a loved one to Covid-19 have been invited to join an online, interfaith, memorial service at Manchester Cathedral on Thursday (16 July).

The Very Rev’d Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester, will lead a socially distanced service inside the Cathedral, which will be streamed live on the Cathedral’s Facebook page from 11am. 

There will be no choir or singing, in line with the current restrictions.

Dean Govender and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham will also launch an online book of remembrance at https://gmremembers.org.uk/, which will form a permanent tribute to those who lost their lives to the pandemic in the city region.

People who have been bereaved will be able to upload the name and personal details of their loved one, together with a picture and a personal tribute. Those who worked for the NHS and social care will have a rainbow symbol added to their memory.

The tributes will also be available for everyone to read.

The memorial website has been built by volunteers from digital agency, Reason Digital.

Dean Govender said: “This service and the memorial are for everyone who has been touched by the terrible effects of COVID-19, those of all faiths and of none.

“We grieve for those who have lost their lives in our communities and we share in the loss and suffering of their families, friends and colleagues.

“It has also been so much harder for those who grieve because they have been unable to gather together and remember in the normal way because of the restriction on gatherings.

“So I hope this service and the memorial will allow them to be comforted and to share their memories even if it is too early to talk about achieving some sort of closure.”

Andy Burnham said: “It has been heartbreaking over the past few months to hear people’s personal stories of how they have been affected by the loss of a relative or friend.

“We look after each other in Greater Manchester and I hope this memorial will allow us to show the love and care that is felt for those who died.

“I hope also that this memorial will allow our community to pay particular tribute to those who worked in health and social care and who died of this disease.

“We will never forgot them and their service to our communities.”

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