The Church of England, Marie Curie, Hope UK, Care for the Family, Ataloss, and many charities and organisations across the United Kingdom, will join forces on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 for a National Day of Reflection to commemorate the first anniversary of the nationwide Coronavirus lockdown.
York Minister will open from 11.30 a.m. until 6 p.m. to welcome people for prayer, quiet reflection and to light candles for family, friends, and loved ones. The Minster will fall silent at 12 noon for a national one minute silence. A Chaplain will be present throughout the day. Pre-booking is not necessary but entry may be slightly delayed to manage capacity within the Minster.
“This unprecedented event has touched communities all over the world. There has been heart-breaking loss of life, disruption to every sphere of life, enforced isolation that has been extremely difficult to endure and severe economic strain. Even the most basic human interactions such as comforting the sick and dying, or attending a funeral have been impossible for many.
“We have also experienced the very best: the courage and sacrifice of NHS and social care workers, the emergency services and key workers; individuals, groups and an army of volunteers reaching out to isolated and vulnerable people in their communities. We have seen enormous scientific endeavour, collaboration and political consensus to produce safe vaccines to combat the virus.
“The past year has often felt overwhelming, challenging our sense of self, safety and undermining our mental health. Recovery will take time. On Tuesday 23rd March, everyone is invited to come into the stillness of the Minster and to use the space to reflect, to grieve, to remember and to pray.”The Rev. Michæl Smith, Canon Pastor, York Minster
Commenting on the day, Stephen Cottrell said:
As we look back on the sorrows and difficulties of the past year and remember those who have died and those who have suffered so much, we also give thanks for the care we have received through our health service, but also in many other ways, not least the care we have been able to show each other in our local communities. On this day of national reflection and remembrance we pray for a more just and caring world beyond the horrors of Covid”.The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. Stephen Cottrell, Lord Archbishop of York
Marie Curie has produced resources and advice on how to mark the National Day of Reflection at https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/day-of-reflection.
The Church of England has produced prayers and resources at https://www.churchofengland.org/about/evangelism-and-discipleship/mission-network-news/23rd-march-national-day-reflection