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Coronavirus: Book of remembrance for Britons who have died with COVID-19 launches online | UK News



An online book of remembrance for all those who have died with coronavirus in the UK has been launched by St Paul’s Cathedral.

From today, family, friends and carers can access the Remember Me website and add the name and photograph of anyone who has died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People of all faiths, beliefs or none are being encouraged to submit the names of their loved ones.

Prince Charles pays tribute to the people of the United Kingdom who have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

‘It is essential that we remember’

The latest figures from the Department of Health, show that 36,042 people have died with the virus in the UK.

The online book of remembrance has received the backing of Prince Charles, as an important focal point for the nation’s collective mourning.

In a video message, he said: “People of every faith, and of none, believe that each human being is unique and precious.

“We also believe it is essential that we remember: we recall how our lives, individually and together, are shaped by the joys and sorrows of the past, so that we may look forward with hope for the future.”

He added: “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.”

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison hopes the website will allow Britons to 'recall this huge event in our national life'
The Very Reverend Dr David Ison hopes the website will allow Britons to ‘recall this huge event in our national life’

Like all places of worship across the country, St Paul’s is currently closed to the public due to social distancing guidelines, and can’t hold any services of remembrance.

The Dean of St Paul’s said they felt it was important to co-ordinate the new website to make sure everyone felt they could publicly remember their loved ones.

The choristers of St Paul's Cathedral have recorded a new song, urging people to remember those who have lost their lives to COVID-19
The choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral have recorded a new song, urging people to remember those who have lost their lives to COVID-19

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison said: “St Paul’s is a place where people come together to remember those who died and important events in the life of the country and so we thought this is a place that we can centre remembrance upon that people will be familiar with.

“This has affected absolutely everyone in the country, we’re seeking to remember those who died directly as a result of it but also we’re incorporating everyone into that ability to remember and recall this huge event in our national life.”

It comes after many families haven’t been able to give their relatives the funerals or burials they would have wanted due to social distancing measures and restrictions on travel.

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Kanan Patel’s husband Jayesh caught the virus when he working as a pharmacist in Surrey.

He had no underlying health problems, but died in April at the age of 52. Once he was in the hospital, Kanan and their two daughters didn’t get to see him again.

She was unable to give him holy water in the hours before he died, as is custom in the Hindu faith, and instead had to give it to a nurse.

All the customary prayers following his death also had to be carried out via Zoom video calls rather than in person.

She believes the online book of remembrance is an important way that families can remember their loved ones.

She told Sky News how difficult things had been: “Not being able to say goodbye, especially the way they go because you’re not expecting them to go. Especially Jay, when he went out, I never thought that he wouldn’t come back.”

Talking about her husband, she said: “I lost a friend, as a husband he was very loving, caring, I can’t remember a time in 20 years of my marriage with him that he ever didn’t support me in any way. I never expected Jay to go this quick, the same goes for the girls as well.

“They say mum when it’s unlocked everyone will be back to normal, our life will never be the same.”

To launch the project, a special piece of music has been recorded by the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral.

There are also plans for a permanent memorial to be built at the Cathedral to remember those who’ve died during the pandemic.

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