St Paul’s Cathedral today launches Remember Me, an online book of remembrance for all who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
People of all faiths, beliefs or none will be commemorated, with friends and relatives invited to upload an image and short message to the Remember Me website.
The project has been praised by religious leaders including the Chief Rabbi, and financed by the philanthropist Sir Lloyd Dorfman, who sits on the development committee of St Paul’s Cathedral.
“I said, this is an amazing project and you’ve absolutely got to do it as quickly as you can as it’s all going on now,” he told the JC.
“Bear in mind that funerals are extremely restricted, many people didn’t get a chance to say farewell to their loved ones. So I said I’ll sponsor it.
“We felt that this project is really filing a void, an unmet need – of course this won’t bring back loved ones but it will provide some solace. They will be remembered in a very special way,” said Sir Lloyd.
“As we commence the gradual process of grieving as a nation for the many thousands who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus, this new virtual memorial provides a timely and meaningful outlet for that to begin to take place,” said Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
“I hope that this focal point for our collective grief also generates a measure of comfort for the loved ones of the deceased, enabling them to record their recollections for posterity.”
It is intended that the Remember Me site will eventually become a physical memorial at the cathedral. Designs for a new inner porch in the North transept have already been approved.
Prince Charles said in a video statement: “This virtual book of remembrance is here 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.
“We give thanks for how our lives have been woven together with theirs and, through this book, you are invited to share their lives with others – so that we and those who follow us can all remember what has been, and build together a better and more hopeful future.”
To launch the project, the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral have recorded Mendelssohn’s Lift Thine Eyes to serve as an anthem for the book of remembrance.