Council announces plans to mark 23 March 2021, National Day of Reflection.
17 March 2020As the first anniversary of the initial COVID lockdown approaches, plans are being developed in west Cheshire to commemorate those who have lost their lives and everyone who has been impacted by the virus.
Tuesday, March 23 has been chosen as a National Day of Reflection by charity Marie Curie who is asking people to ‘take a minute to reflect and a moment to connect’ by joining in with minute’s silence at 12 noon, shining a light at 8pm or reflecting on the last year in their own way.
It is hoped this day will allow people to pause and think about the pandemic, the unprecedented losses and to show their support for each other.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council said: “As we reach the sad milestone of the first anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK, let’s take a moment to reflect on what the Country and our communities have been through.
“During these difficult times we need to think collectively about the loss which has been felt, support those who have been sadly bereaved and together look for a brighter future. We are encouraging residents to come together to get behind Marie Curie’s campaign for the National Day of Reflection.
“A national one minute’s silence will be held at 12pm and at 8pm we’re encouraging residents to hold a minute’s silence and stand on their doorsteps with a light, a candle, a torch, a phone or a colourful poster and asked to remember someone who has died and show support to people going through a bereavement.
“Chester Town Hall, Eastgate clock, Newgate, Civic Way Library, Wyvern House and Northwich Town Bridge will be specially lit as part of a national plan to illuminate public buildings throughout the week in yellow, a colour to symbolise hope. The Marie Curie campaign also encourages the public to buy colourful flowers to place in their windows, to send flowers to someone who is grieving or to plant a yellow flower.”
Chester Cathedral will hold a short service to mark the first anniversary of lockdown where Chairman and Lord Mayor Councillor Mark Williams and Town Mayors from across Cheshire West and Chester will lead messages of reflection.
Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford said: "Our special service will remember those who have died in the last year, whilst giving thanks to those who have cared and supported the city through this difficult time.
“The service will also help us to look forward with hope as the Church prepares to celebrate Easter. A special installation in the form of a spiral memorial has been created in the Cathedral for people to come and reflect, whilst ribbons will be distributed to help people tie their emotions to the railings as they leave the building. Lay clerks from the Cathedral Choir will sing some special music allowing time for prayer and reflection.".
Tickets for the 5.30pm service are strictly limited, however, it can also be viewed live on the Cathedral’s official YouTube channel at youtube.com/ChesterCathedralChoirandOrgan
The borough’s network of Community Champions will be asked to promote the day of reflection encouraging residents to come together, to reflect on our collective loss, support those who’ve been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.
#DayOfReflection will be used in social media messages to highlight the benefits of reaching out to others and encouraging people to find ways to reflect, talk to each other and promote how to seek help.
The Council’s online book of reflection will be open for members of the public to add messages. If you can’t get online to add a message or would rather speak to someone who can write the message for you telephone 01244 977214, 01244 977074
The Council will be working with its partners, residents and local organisations to develop a borough wide strategy for longer term commemorations of the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.