In March 2021 on the anniversary of the first UK lockdown, people gathered across the country to reflect on the events of the previous year, and to remember those who had died.
This year, Marie Curie is once again co-ordinating a day of events and activities to acknowledge the grief and loss of the past year. Churches can play a special part in the day as focal points for gathering and remembering in our communities. Read on to find out how.
In everything you do on the day direct bereaved people to AtaLoss.org, the UK’s bereavement signposting website, where they can find support organisations, resources, helplines and Griefchat – a free, live webchat service – available to help them in their grief. This short video shows bereaved people how to easily find support. It could helpfully be added to your church website immediately to provide long term support to bereaved people in your community.
Think about whether you could create a Wall of Reflection in your church, in the church hall or maybe even outside your building. If you think someone in your community is creating their own Wall, why not arrange to join in, either in person or by praying for them?
- Could you have daffodils at Morning Prayer with a special prayer for the Day of Reflection? Might you be able to hold a Dawn Service outside?
MID-MORNING TO NOON
- Invite the community to gather at 11am by the Wall of Reflection to share memories
- If you can, arrange for the church’s bell to be tolled for one minute at noon on the day.
EVENING (FROM 8PM)
- Use the 8.00pm ‘Share the Light’ moment to light candles and lanterns in windows
- If you can, floodlight the church in yellow. Remember to post pictures of candles and yellow-lit buildings on social media using the hashtag #DayOfReflection
Don’t feel you have to do everything; even one or two things will help the campaign reach more people, and provide a place of solace for members of your community to reflect on their emotions.
Members of your church could attend a Bereavement Care Awareness training webinar from Care for the Family, to help them find out how to support those suffering the pain and heartache of loss.
And don’t forget our Bereavement Friendly Church webinar, which invites you to consider your church’s accessibility to those bereaved, with lots of practical ideas and suggestions.
Why not have available some of the At A Loss Remembering Someone Badges which can be worn at difficult times such as birthdays or anniversaries, to let others know that we are grieving and feeling particularly raw.
Also think about running The Bereavement Journey to support members of your community who have been bereaved. Contact us to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org