UK

Prince Charles unveils poignant online book to remember coronavirus victims

ST PAULS CATHEDRAL has launched an online book of remembrance for those who have died from coronavirus, which Prince Charles unveiled during an online video call.

The project is called Remember Me, and is open to all faiths and beliefs. The cathedral said Remember Me is online on its website from today.

Family members, friends and carers of anyone who has died can submit the name, photograph and a short message.

The deceased person must be British or have been living in the UK.

The St Paul’s choristers have also recorded a piece of music via video.

The piece was sung from the boys’ homes during the lockdown.

Prince Charles said in a video message that the virtual memorial was a chance to mark “our loss and sorrow, but also to be thankful for everything good that those we have loved brought into our lives”.

Prince Charles said: “This virtual book of remembrance is here to help us remember; not just to recall our loss and sorrow, but also to be thankful for everything good that those we have loved brought into our lives, and all that they have given to others.

“For too many among us, this has brought tragedy and heartbreak.

“For some, relatives have not been able to be present at the time of their loved one’s passing.

“For many, the loss of their loved ones has been made all the more agonisingly painful by the necessary restrictions on funerals, travel and gatherings.

“For all of us, there has been anxiety in the present as we have wondered what the future will be.”

The cathedral also intends to create a physical memorial to those who have died, and has approved designs for a new porch which are subject to funding.

A member of the St Paul’s community has been personally impacted by the virus, after the mother of Oliver Caroe, surveyor of the fabric of the cathedral, died on 5 April aged 81 due to the virus.

Mary Caroe was a former GP and police surgeon.

Mr Caroe said: “Not having any of the closeness, face to face conversations or rituals that you would normally have in place with someone over their last days adds to the deep emotional impact.”

The Dean of St Pauls, the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, spoke about the project

He said: “For centuries, St Pauls Cathedral has been a place to remember the personal and national impact of great tragedies, from the losses of war to the devastation of the Grenfell Tower fire.

“We have heard so many sad stories of those affected by the pandemic, and all our thoughts and prayers are with them.

“Every person is valued and worthy of remembrance.”

The reverend continued: “We are all experiencing the devastating impacts of COVID-19 across the country and beyond.

“Remember Me is an opportunity to mourn every person we have lost to the effects of this terrible disease, an encouragement to offer compassion and support to those left behind, and an ongoing recognition of the impact of the pandemic on the UK.”

The UK has seen a total of 250,908 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

It also has seen a death toll of 36,042, the highest in Europe.

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