Coronavirus memorial service held at Manchester Cathedral

Eleanor Barlow, PA
·3-min read

A service has been held to honour the lives of almost 3,000 people who died in Greater Manchester with coronavirus.

The interfaith ceremony was held at Manchester Cathedral.

About 30 people, including representatives from the region’s 10 boroughs, attended the service in person while others watched as it was livestreamed on the cathedral’s Facebook page.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said 2,933 people from Greater Manchester had lost their lives due to the pandemic and the number was still rising.

He said: “These were people who looked after us when we were growing up, people who taught us, people who cleaned our streets, our hospitals, our offices, our churches, who drove our buses, trams and trains, who poured our pints, shared our food and shared a joke as they did it.

“People who put out fires, kept our streets safe but most of all people who dedicated themselves to the care of others and we think most of them today.”

A Covid-19 memorial candle was lit during the service.

Coronavirus – Thu Jul 16, 2020
A man sanitises his hands before the memorial service at Manchester Cathedral (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mr Burnham added: “As the world slowly reawakens into a new normal, it just would not feel right to move on, as people say, without taking this moment today to pause, to reflect on what has happened these last few months and who we have lost, all of them.”

Dean of Manchester the Very Rev Rogers Govender, who led the service, said: “We are, as a city and a nation and as a world, we are a grieving world, a grieving city and we hope that this little offering to our community in Greater Manchester will be a sign of hope.”

Bishop of Manchester the Right Rev David Walker said: “We are here first to honour each of those lives.

“Each person whose life has ended through this disease was a precious child of God, a precious human individual, somebody’s son, daughter, husband, wife, friend, parent, grandparent.

“We mourn them and we honour them, particularly today because it hasn’t been possible in most cases for them to have the kind of funeral rites that we would have expected.”

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An online book of remembrance to form a permanent tribute to those in the region who lost their lives to the virus was also launched.

The  memorial, built by volunteers from agency Reason Digital, will allow people who have been bereaved to upload the name and personal details of their loved one, along with a picture and tribute.

Those who worked for the NHS and in social care will have a rainbow symbol added to their memory.

The book of remembrance can be found at