A National Day of Reflection one year on from the first coronavirus lockdown

The nation is due to fall silent on Tuesday (March 23) to remember friends and relatives who have died during the pandemic.

Chichester Cathedral stood empty during lockdown SUS-210322-100103001
Chichester Cathedral stood empty during lockdown SUS-210322-100103001

The National Day of Reflection is organised by the charity Marie Curie to mark a year since the first lockdown, and is backed by government.

The public is asked to observe a minute’s silence at midday, and to shine a light on their doorsteps at 8pm.

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Local organisations are backing the movement and asking residents to remember those who have died in the last year.

St Mary's church Felpham Picture by Louise Adams

Chichester Cathedral will be observing a minute’s silence on Tuesday, and the Dean has recorded a number of prayers which will be released for the community online.

The Mayor of Chichester, Cllr Richard Plowman, is set to observe a minute’s silence at Chichester Cross on Tuesday.

The City Council has been lighting up the Cross and Council House every Thursday to acknowledge to front line workers, carers and the NHS and this will now take place on Tuesday as well.

Cllr Amanda Worne, chairman of Arun District Council invites members of the public to join her via Zoom for a time of reflection.

Cllr Worne said: “I would really love to hear from anyone who would like to be part of this reflection and wants to share their experiences. The idea is to spend time sharing experiences from the past year and remembering those we have lost and thanking those who have offered support. Please get in touch with me via email. It would be lovely to hear from you.”

The event begins at 2pm on Tuesday and will feature guest speakers, Revd Tom Robson, Father Mark Williams, Nigel Lynn and Cllr Dr Walsh with music by Cllr Inna Irskine.

St Mary’s Church in Felpham is to hold a service of remembrance and thanksgiving live on Facebook from midday on Tuesday, ‘to remember those who died and all the key workers who gave so much’.

It will begin with a minute’s silence at midday followed by the bell toll at 12.01pm and then the service.

A statement from the church said: “In the church yard there is a wooden cross placed by the West door. This is our focus point for this national day of reflection. Over the coming days we will be transforming the cross, from rough wood to purple. I symbol of pain leading to hope. During your daily exercise we invite you to stop by the cross and reflect on what this past year has brought us all. See the cross change and join us online to remember, to reflect and to give thanks.”

West Sussex County Council supported the national moment of reflection, and a spokesman said: “Everyone is invited to pause to reflect during a minute’s silence at 12 midday and to come together later that evening outside our homes with a light and show support to people grieving the death of a loved one.”

On why Marie Curie organised the event, Matthew Reed, chief executive, said: “We need to take a moment to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen in the past 12 months and show support for everyone who has been bereaved – be that from  Covid  or any other cause. Many people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened. But there is an overwhelming need to come together, to remember, to grieve, to celebrate.

“On March 23, we invite everyone join together to hold a minute’s silence at 12 noon, take a moment to reach out to someone they know is grieving, and shine a light at 8pm.”

To find out more about the National Day of reflection, Visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/day-of-reflection

If your organisation is marking a National Day of Reflection on Tuesday, email [email protected]