MAYOR of Worcester Coun Jo Hodges has called on city residents, members of the armed forces and veterans to mark Remembrance Sunday from home this year.
Worcester’s first citizen spoke out after council chiefs confirmed the traditional Civic Procession from the Guildhall to the Cathedral, the Military Parade and the ceremonial laying of wreaths at the War Memorial outside the Cathedral have all been cancelled because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
There will be a service of remembrance at Worcester Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday (November 8) at which attendance will be by ticket only and numbers will be strictly limited.
Wreaths will be laid inside the Cathedral during the service and moved to the war memorial later in the day. The service will be streamed online for people to watch at home.
“It is with enormous sadness I have to announce this year’s remembrance parade has had to be cancelled,” Coun Hodges said.
“This has not been an easy decision, but I have no doubt it would have been completely irresponsible to go ahead with a parade that always attracts large numbers, especially of veterans – many of whom could be highly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“Remembrance Sunday will still be an event that everyone can observe. Stay at home, watch the Cathedral service online and take some time to privately remember those who have fallen in defence of the freedoms that we all value.”
The Mayor was supported by the City Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Coun Chris Mitchell.
“I know many people, especially our veterans, will be very disappointed by this news. Some may be tempted to go along to the Cathedral regardless on November 8, but I would urge them not to.
“We all need to be conscious of the potentially wider impact on the community and, while it is difficult, perhaps look for alternative ways to mark our respect for the fallen.
“The Royal British Legion is recommending a range of ways in which this important day can be observed at home, including holding a small service in your own garden or using an online service like Zoom to run your own remembrance service.
“I would like to encourage Worcester residents and those veterans unable to attend to follow the RBL’s suggestions.”
Worcester Cathedral will be streaming its Remembrance service online on Sunday November 8 from 10.15am at www.facebook.com/WorcesterCathedral.
The Royal British Legion is encouraging people to ensure Remembrance Sunday is still marked by taking part in remote and socially distanced Remembrance activity, such as watching a service on TV or pausing for the two minute silence at home or on their doorsteps at 11am on the day.
Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk for more.