Church bells will toll to remember Sunderland lives lost to Covid on Lockdown anniversary
An online service to remember the hundreds of Sunderland lives lost to Covid will take place on the anniversary of the first Lockdown.
March 23, 2021, marks one year since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country would be going into a national Lockdown to limit the spread of Covid 19.
Since then there have been more than 900 Covid-related deaths at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
To remember the lives lost, on Tuesday, March 23, Sunderland Minster will be stopping to reflect, remember and support those grieving.
The city centre church will mark this day with an online act of reflection and remembrance on its YouTube channel, released at 9am. This will include a message from the Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr David Snowdon, and contributions from those who have lost loved ones.
As part of the remembrance, more than 800 candles will be lit.
In line with a national silence at noon that day, the Minster bell will toll for eight minutes leading up to this silence.
In the lead up to Tuesday people are being asked to tie a yellow ribbon round the church railings, or drop off a photo and the name of a loved one at the Minster to be part of a remembrance collage. You can do this anytime leading up to the 23rd and after that.
Stuart Bain, Provost of Sunderland Minster, said: “What a year this has been. We want those who have lost loved ones to know that they are not forgotten and that those who have died are not forgotten. Take time to stop and reflect and remember on March 23.
"In the City of Sunderland more than 800 people have lost their lives to Covid 19. These are not just numbers but people, people who have been loved and are still loved. Next Tuesday we reflect on the pain and grief which has come to so many families across our city and our country. That pain continues and that grieving continues."
Sunderland Minster is open Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon for prayer and anyone is welcome. Pictures and the names of loved ones for the collage can also be dropped off in those times.