Coronavirus: St Paul’s Cathedral plans permanent tribute to victims

Artist impression of the physical memorial Image copyright St Paul’s Cathedral
Image caption More than 5,500 tributes have been made in an online book, with a physcial memorial now planned

A permanent memorial in St Paul’s Cathedral to those who have died from coronavirus has been approved.

The London landmark hopes to raise £2m to build a new inner porch where people can look up tributes on a touchscreen.

It will be based on an online book of remembrance which was launched in May and has gathered more than 5,500 memorials.

Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Rev Dr David Ison, said anyone “regardless of faith or background” was welcome.

Family members, friends and carers can submit names, photographs and a short message. The deceased person must be British or have been living in the UK.

Dr Ison said: “During the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April, we recognised the pain and anguish so many were suffering after losing a loved one to Covid-19.

“We thought an online memorial to remember and mourn those who had died was one way of meeting an urgent, unmet need of bereaved families.

“They didn’t want their close relatives to be just another statistic.”

Image copyright St Paul’s Cathedral/PA Medica
Image caption The project is called Remember Me and is open to people of all faiths or none

The cathedral has approved designs for the “fitting memorial”, although it needs to raise £2m to complete the plans.

It said faith leaders across the UK, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Muslim Council and representatives from the Hindu Council UK and Sikh Council UK had voiced support for the memorial.

More than 45,000 people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus, government figures show.