Bereaved encouraged to honour Covid victims through virtual book of remembrance

The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral is inviting friends and family to honour loved ones who have died from Covid-19 by leaving a virtual tribute in their memory.

Dr David Ison launched the Remember Me online book of remembrance in May and was supported by the Prince of Wales, who described the initiative as a way to celebrate the “good that those we have loved brought into our lives”.

“As the death toll from the pandemic has risen to over 100,000, we want to remember each of those individuals who have died, all valued and worthy of remembrance, and many more friends and families left grieving by this dreadful pandemic,” said the dean.

The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Dr David Ison has led the Remember Me online memorial project
The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Dr David Ison has led the Remember Me online memorial project

He added: “St Paul’s created Remember Me in response to this overwhelming grief, with a simple way to remember and honour our loved ones.

“We warmly invite anyone whose loved one has died as a result of the pandemic in the UK, to leave a tribute, free of charge on the Remember Me website, so that they will not be forgotten.

“Remember Me is open to people of all faiths or none. Over 6,500 people have been memorialised this way so far, and Remember Me will be open for entries for as long as it is needed.”

The idea for the memorial project stemmed from a conversation the dean had with the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, in mid-April when she mentioned an online book she had come across and he decided to create a virtual book of remembrance.

Over 6,000 families have published a memorial to #RememberMe. An online book of memorials dedicated to those who have died as a result of #Covid19. To add a memorial please visit our website

— Remember Me (@RememberMeMemo) October 19, 2020

In took just over five weeks for Dr Ison and colleagues to progress from a standing start to design and build the online portal where the bereaved can memorialise their loved ones.

In a video message released last year in support of the project, Charles said: “This virtual book of remembrance is here to help us remember; not just to recall our loss and sorrow, but also to be thankful for everything good that those we have loved brought into our lives, and all that they have given to others.”

St Paul’s is fundraising for a physical memorial at the cathedral in memory of those who have died as a result of the pandemic.

It hopes to create a Remember Me entrance and has approved designs for a new inner porch in the north transept as a fitting memorial.

Faith leaders have supported the online book of remembrance including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Muslim Council of Britain and other Muslim leaders, and representatives from the Hindu Council UK and Sikh Council UK.