● A physical memorial to be created at St Paul’s Cathedral
● Remember Me is an online memorial for those in the UK – of all faiths, beliefs or none– who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
● 7,300 names entered since launch on Friday 22 May, 2020
A campaign is launched today to raise £2.3m to build a physical memorial in St Paul’s Cathedral for everyone who has died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with the Daily Mail, the country is being encouraged to support a memorial uniting those from across the UK, of all faiths or none, who are grieving the death of family and friends.
It will be the first build of its kind in St Paul’s for nearly 150 years and is part of the Remember Me project, an online book of remembrance launched last year which is supported by The Prince of Wales and different faith leaders. More than 7,300 names of those who have died as a result of the pandemic have been entered into the book. It is hoped that this campaign will prompt others to add the names of their loved ones.
The campaign will install the online memorial book at a permanent site within St Paul’s as well as on the internet. People entering the Cathedral by the new Equal Access Ramp will be able to go through the memorial into a tranquil space and take time to remember the many individuals who have died as a result of the pandemic.
The memorial will be a portico in the North Transept on the site or an earlier porch destroyed by a bomb in 1941. Oliver Caroe, the Cathedral’s Surveyor to the Fabric, who has designed the memorial, lost his mother during the pandemic.
The first 5000 people who donate more than £25 to the fund will receive a memorial candle and those donating more than £50 will receive an annual ‘Friends of St Paul’s’ membership.
The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, said “The Remember Me on-line book of remembrance allows all those who have died as a result of COVID to be named and honoured by their loved ones. The physical memorial at St Paul’s will anchor the online book in a place where significant events and people have been commemorated for many centuries. Together with the online memorial it will allow members of the public to call up a person’s photograph and short epitaph written by their family or friends into a reflective space, as a way of inspiring reflection, prayer or lighting a candle. The physical and online memorials together will provide an open and accessible way to remember all those who have died due to the pandemic and those who have suffered because of it.”
Geordie Greig, editor of the Daily Mail, said: “Thousands of people in Britain have lost a loved one as a result of the COVID pandemic and it is right that we remember this tragic death toll of more than 130,000 people. A memorial in St Paul’s cathedral is a fitting way to remember those who have died.
“The Daily Mail has a long history of reporting and supporting the country in times of crisis. This is why we are not again helping raise awareness about this COVID memorial so that people can mourn and celebrate the lives of their family and friends, who have tragically died as a result of Coronavirus.”
Oliver Caroe, Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s Cathedral and architect of theRemember Me inner portico, said “The Remember Me inner portico will serve as a fitting memorial to all our loved ones who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope and pray that St Paul’s can play a real part in grieving and recovery. There will be many families like mine who never have had an opportunity to gather; to properly acknowledge thanks for the lives lived and to appreciate carers and clinicians we will never have met. My mother Mary Caroe died of COVID-19 early last year and is commemorated on the Remember Me online memorial. The Remember Me inner portico will become part of the fabric of St Paul’s and part of history for centuries to come.”
St Paul’s set up Remember Me to enable families, friends and carers to record and mourn those who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The book of remembrance is open to people of all faiths, beliefs or none.
Those wishing to remember loved ones can submit, free of charge, the name, photograph and a short message in honour of a deceased person via the Remember Me website. Remember Me will be open for entries for as long as needed.
Si Walker, Head of Projects at Crowdfunder said: “It is an honour to play a part in what will become a testament to all the people we have lost during the pandemic, and a place where their loved ones can come together to celebrate their lives. Throughout the past year, we’ve seen the incredible generosity of the British public supporting one another on Crowdfunder, and in solidarity we waived our fees for all COVID-19 related campaigns. With that in mind, Crowdfunder is very proud to host the fundraising for the Remember Me, COVID-19 Physical Memorial by St Paul’s Cathedral.”
To donate to the fund, please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/remember-me-physical-memorial