We are delighted to have been endorsed by so many different communities
The Remember Me online book of remembrance has been enthusiastically endorsed by faith leaders from across the religious communities of the United Kingdom as well as many community leaders.
There is widespread recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected many of our communities and Remember Me is a tangible and accessible way of marking our individual and collective loss.
There is deep resonance across the faith traditions in honouring human life and marking death through grieving and thanksgiving. Both faith and community leaders have written moving letters and messages of support to encourage participation in this national initiative for people of all faiths and none
Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Lord, we commend to your love and mercy those who have died. Their names have been placed, lovingly, in this Book of Remembrance, that they may never be forgotten but held always in our prayers
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
As we commence the gradual process of grieving as a nation for the many thousands who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus, this new virtual memorial provides a timely and meaningful outlet for that to begin to take place.
I hope that this focal point for our collective grief also generates a measure of comfort for the loved ones of the deceased, enabling them to record their recollections for posterity. May the memories of those inscribed in this commemorative space be for a blessing.
Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Chair of the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board
Words cannot adequately express what so many families are feeling at this time of the pandemic and my sincere sympathy is with all those who have so tragically lost loved ones.
I ask God, the Most Merciful, to heal our souls, lead us in these extremely challenging times and comfort us in times of abject fear and anxiety.
I offer the deepest thanks to our magnificent frontline workers for their unyielding efforts and remarkable sacrifices in this time of national emergency. It makes us proud to witness the strong sense of community and the British spirit of ‘never giving up’ in the face of such adversity.
Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain
‘From God we come and to Him we return’. This is a profound statement in the Quran that Muslims are asked to recite upon hearing news of a death. It is a testament that has been made far too many times in recent weeks.
The coronavirus has shaken our lives and reminded us of the frailty of life itself. It affirms how we humans must overcome our differences as we rely on each other.
In our common religious literature we are told: ‘Whoever saves one life it would be as if they saved the life of all mankind.’
At this time of grief, we therefore cherish our NHS staff and key workers who take care of the ailing. We commend the work of all places of worship, charities and volunteers jumping at the chance to help those in need.
Umesh Sharma JP, Chair of the Hindu Council UK
Our nation is going through a very uncertain, difficult and painful time. But this pain is at its extreme when families can not say a proper farewell to their loved ones who have died as a result of the pandemic.
At this time of national grief, St Paul’s has come out with an excellent and thoughtful initiative to set up a Virtual Book of Remembrance for the Nation for those who died as a result of the Pandemic.
Hindu Council UK fully supports this very thoughtful and creative step taken by St Paul’s. I am particularly encouraged to notice people of all faiths or no faith can express their messages. This initiative is in line with fundamental Hindu Philosophy stated in the phrase: VASUDEV KUTAMKAM, ‘The whole world is one family.’
Imam Mohammad Mahmoud OBE, East London Mosque
I was delighted to hear about your initiative to set up a Virtual Book of Remembrance, in honour of those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. So many in our society are grieving, and have not been able to give full expression to that grief owing to restrictions on burial rituals. This is particularly true of the Muslim community, where Covid-19 related deaths have been in alarmingly high proportion.
My community and I stand fully behind this initiative, and the spirit of honouring life which it represents. By honouring each individual life through this initiative, we will be honouring the entirety of humanity.
Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE, Director of Public Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation
The COVID-19 epidemic is a historic milestone, bringing together the nation and communities in grief. I fully support St Paul’s Virtual Book of Remembrance in memory of all victims of COVID-19. We are proud of all the frontline heroes who sacrifice to save others. Muslim and BAME are among the hardest hit, from NHS doctors to supermarket shelf stackers, to bus drivers and local shop keepers. We are coming together to pray, grief and remember.
Let us also remember victims from around the world bearing the brunt of this deadly virus. Those living in crowded refugee camps, under the shadow of war, and religious minorities neglected due to systematic discrimination. Let this time of difficulty be a time of togetherness of the nation and humanity as a whole.
Jasvir Singh OBE, a Director of the City Sikhs Network
Many have lost loved ones during the pandemic, and because of lockdown it has been incredibly hard for us to mourn as we normally would. The Virtual Book of Remembrance is an important initiative as it allows us to remember those we have lost and to grieve collectively.
We remain united and connected as a nation in these challenging times, and the Virtual Book is a timely reminder that physical distancing is not a barrier when it comes to supporting one another following a bereavement. City Sikhs fully supports this initiative.
Professor Mashood Baderin, Muslim Association of Nigeria UK
Many people globally, including members of our own religious community are currently undergoing deep pains for the loss of loved ones to the Covid-19 pandemic. In most cases, this is exacerbated by the inability to be with loved ones in their last moments.
Our community therefore joins hands with other faiths at this time to express consolation to the world, particularly to those who are grieving due to the loss of loved ones, and we pray to Allah to heal the world collectively and individually now and always.
For the lives we have lost, we pray that they rest in peace, and for those of us still living we pray for Allah’s continued mercies to enable us work together to overcome these difficult times and to be able to help the most vulnerable amongst us. We pray for our front-line workers, health workers and all essential and emergency support workers, thanking everyone for all their efforts in trying to bring our world back to normalcy.
Dr Akber Mohamedali, President of The Council of European Jamaats
As British Shia Muslims, we are united in our grief and solidarity with everyone across the country who has lost loved ones during this pandemic. Now, more than ever before, faith and non-faith communities must rally around one another. We have already seen remarkable acts of grassroots generosity from across society. We have also witnessed countless Muslims leading the efforts to combat Covid-19; from the tireless NHS Staff, to the Supermarket workers, delivery drivers, and of course mosques and burial and bereavement teams.
Imam Ali teaches that ‘A person is either your brother in faith or equal in humanity’. We are all united in the face of suffering and sorrow. A book of remembrance that pays tribute to those who tragically lost their lives is a welcome initiative, providing solace to families and memorialising the stories of the thousands who have sadly left us.
Malcom M Deboo, President of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe
On behalf of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE) and the Zoroastrian Community, I am fully supportive of ‘The Covid-19 Virtual Book of Remembrance’ initiated by St Paul’s Cathedral.
I am glad this book is open to all faiths and none to record the names of their loved ones who prematurely and tragically succumbed to COVID-19. Thus re-empathising the inclusive commitment of St Paul’s Cathedral in the belief that every human life is precious to God.
Like in the aftermath of the historic plaque and the Great Fire of London, this 21st century virtual book of remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral should give pastoral support for people to heal since they are unable to mourn in traditional ways owing to current restrictions, and also be ongoing personal and national memorial for our nation.
Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Head Priest of the London Buddhist Vihara
A tribute for for all the loved ones who have lost their lives during this awful pandemic:
Although you are not in physical form today, you live on with love in our hearts,
Thoughts of you make flowers bloom every day, as angels come to visit us.
Much beauty you left behind, a gift for our family from you,
We miss you being with us but please, do not worry, we promise to see you again one day.
While the sun rises and sets everyday, fond memories of you come to mind,
Always with a radiant, smiling face, bright sparkling eyes. In darkness, candlelight glows on your picture.
As brothers and sisters love each other, we hold you close in our human family
A victim of Corona, so much harder to bear your departure, we miss you being near.
No longer can you see the beauty of summer flowers here, but observe the beauty of mother Earth from above
The many wreaths placed as tribute from bereaved children observing our tears of loss.
In a dream I see your smiling face, in the blue sky, with moonlight and twinkling stars
You are waving to say good bye, remain in peace, my dear.
The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Alderman William Russell
This is a thoughtful initiative from St. Pauls. It provides an opportunity for us all to come together in one place and offer our thoughts of remembrance to all those who have suffered during this time.
Many families have lost relatives, many people have lost their dearest friends and, because of the necessary social distancing required, grieving has been made more complicated than normal.
Ideas like this allow us to support each other through this unusual time and I am proud to see that St. Pauls – which I and everyone in the City of London is incredibly proud of – is at the emotional forefront, in this gentle and generous way