The Marie Curie charity has organised a National Day of Reflection this coming March 23.
The Church of England nationally is one of several organisations supporting the day and churches across this Diocese are encouraged to take part; with our Cathedral also holding a special event on the day itself.
Nationally, the Day of Reflection including a minute's silence to acknowledge grief and loss over this very difficult last year.
The CofE Life Events Team has created some additional, bespoke resources for parishes to use. Resources available on the Church Support Hub include specially written prayers and prayer cards; social media graphics; ideas for activities on the day; printable materials for download and much more.
There is also an onward link to the Marie Curie website for more resources.
As mentioned in a previous Blackburn Diocese Coronavirus Task Group briefing, parishes are encouraged to keep the minute's silence and mark the occasion and offer prayer either in worship that day or on Sunday, March 21.
Also to mark the Day of Reflection, and as the Mother church of the Diocese, more than three thousand candles will be lit in Blackburn Cathedral to mark the number of people who have died from Covid-19 across Lancashire.
In addition, six larger candles will also be lit to represent all those who have died during the last year and those who grieve them; all those who are ill; those working on the front line; those who are struggling economically and emotionally; those who are leading us out of the pandemic and one candle will be lit for hope.
The Cathedral joins sister Cathedrals across the country in marking the Day of Reflection in different ways. Click here for an overview of that Cathedral activity.
The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Revd Peter Howell Jones (pictured) will lead one minute’s silence at noon which will be followed by the tolling of the cathedral bell. The Dean will be joined in the candle lighting by members of the local community including civic and public health leaders.
The Cathedral will be open from 10-4pm for people to stop, pray and remember, and prayers will be said on the hour every hour.
Blackburn Cathedral also continues to host one of the NHS mass vaccination hubs at this time.
Dean Peter said: “Almost every person has been affected in one way or another during the last 12 months and we cannot, and must not, underestimate the human impact of the pandemic across our nation.
“Many have lost loved ones during that time and been unable to grieve properly or hold the funeral they wanted, others have lost their business, found themselves unemployed, struggled with isolation or loneliness, and we, as a place of faith have to recognise that and look at ways to help and support our communities as we move slowly out of lockdown towards recovery."
Ronnie Semley, March 2021