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Coronavirus: St Paul's Cathedral sets up online book of remembrance

Coronavirus: St Paul's Cathedral sets up online book of remembrance

  • 22 May 2020
Image copyright St Paul's Cathedral/PA Medica
Image caption The project is called Remember Me and is open to people of all faiths or none

An online book of remembrance to commemorate those who have died from coronavirus has been organised by St Paul's Cathedral.

The Prince of Wales said 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".

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.

The memorial book, called Remember Me, is online from Friday and open to people of all faiths or none, the cathedral said.

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.

Image caption The St Paul's choristers recorded a special version of Mendelssohn's Lift Thine Eyes, part of Psalm 121

More than 36,000 people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus, government figures show.

However, the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is estimated to be much higher, with Office for National Statistics data suggesting there had already been more than 41,000 such deaths by the week beginning 8 May

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"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," said Prince Charles.

The prince, who previously contracted coronavirus, said in a video message: "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."

  • Your tributes to those who have died

The cathedral 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.

Image copyright Andrew Lawson
Image caption Mary Caroe, the mother of St Paul's Cathedral"s surveyor of the fabric, Oliver Caroe

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."

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined care home residents in Cardiff for a game of bingo via video call.

Image copyright Kensington Palace
Image caption During the lockdown, the royal couple have video-called care workers in England and Northern Ireland

Prince William and Kate spoke to people living at Shire Hall Care Home and took turns as bingo callers. They also spoke to care workers about the challenges they have faced during the pandemic.

Image copyright Kensington Palace
Image caption The royal couple thanked care home staff for their "tireless efforts", the palace said

During the call, the duke said: "If there's hopefully some positivity that comes out of this horrendous time, it is that there's a light shone on all of the wonderful things you all do and on the social care sector, and it allows people to acknowledge, respect and appreciate everything that you are doing."