THE BISHOP of Worcester has encouraged city residents to reflect on the past year after the city fell silent to remember the lives lost to Covid.
Right Rev Dr John Inge spoke as Worcester Cathedral marked the National Day of Reflection with a short online service of reflection, which included the minute’s silence at midday.
The Cathedral’s online service included local nurse and Cathedral congregation member Rachael Ienzi alongside Bishop John and Canon Stephen Edwards.
“The National Day of Reflection provides an opportunity for us all to reflect on the past year and the many losses we’ve all suffered as a result,” Bishop John said.
“Many people have been unable to grieve properly for their loved ones who have died and it is important that we acknowledge how difficult this has been.
“Take a minute to reflect as well as a moment to connect with anyone who is finding life particularly hard at the moment.”
The National Day of Reflection today (Tuesday) marks the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown.
It is being spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie as a way of encouraging people to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone who has died from Covid-19 and other causes.
People are also being encouraged to reach out to those bereaved who may have lost someone to the virus, or to another cause, and have been unable to mourn properly because of coronavirus restrictions.
Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire, said: “One year ago, as Covid-19 arrived on our shores, none of us could have imagined how our lives would change in the coming months.
“The past year has seen the pandemic effect all aspects of our lives, across every age group and every part of the county. I know some of you will have lost precious loved ones during this past year. I want to offer you my deepest condolences if you have suffered a tragic loss and you will be in our thoughts this week, as we pay our respects to all those who have died during the pandemic.
“If you are unwell with Covid-19 or long Covid, I want to wish you a speedy recovery, and hope you will soon be back in better health. It is a reminder to us all, that this virus is still with us and can still impact our lives.
“One year on, we can look to the future with optimism and positivity.
“Worcestershire is a vibrant, beautiful county with so much to offer its residents and businesses. We want to see our county recover and revitalise, and we can all help with that, by continuing to follow the social distancing rules and taking up the offer of testing and vaccination being offered.”
St Richard’s Hospice is supporting the national day to remember those who have died during the pandemic, and to show support for everyone who has been bereaved.
Care director Debbie Westwood said: “We know from our own experience of families and loved ones who have been bereaved and the impact that the pandemic has had on them. Many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve. It’s important to us all at St Richard’s to acknowledge the enormous effect the pandemic has had on everyone in our community and across the country.”
“We are encouraging people to reflect in any way they feel comfortable, knowing that the nation is with them in spirit and supporting them in their grief. We will also be sharing resources available to help people through bereavement.”