Ottery church calls off Act of Remembrance after lockdown announcement

Ottery St Mary's Church. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery St Mary's Church. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Remembrance services across the country are being cancelled after the Government’s announcement that England will be entering a second lockdown

Remembrance services in Ottery St Mary have been called off due to the Government’s announcement that the country will be entering a second lock down this week.

St Mary’s Church in Ottery has confirmed Sunday services will not be taking place during lockdown and a planned Act of Remembrance on November 11 will now not take place.

Parish Administrator, Sue Jeacock, told the Ottery Herald that the church will be open for private prayer two mornings a week and parishioners will not be prohibited from visiting the churchyard to pay their respects privately.

“It is with sadness that we at St Mary’s Church will be closing for Sunday services during the lock-down,” said Sue.

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“In addition, the Act of Remembrance on November 11 will also not be taking place. The church, however, will continue to be open for private prayer on a Wednesday and a Friday morning from 10am to noon.

“Wreaths will be placed by us around the War Memorial prior to Sunday, November 8, and those who wish to visit the churchyard to pay their respects privately are welcome to do so, ensuring they follow Government guidance on Covid-restricted activity and gatherings.”

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The decision from St Mary’s Church follows the Government’s announcement at the weekend that a national lockdown will begin on Thursday, November 5.

Local councils and faith leaders have been told Remembrance Sunday events can still take place at public war memorials or cenotaphs, if the events have been COVID-19 risk assessed, and if organisers have taken all reasonable steps to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The guidance sets out certain conditions, including that events should be outdoors, be short and focussing on wreath laying, that attendees should be kept to a minimum and that they, including military bands, should observe social distancing, and that public viewing of the event should be minimised.

Some people are legally permitted to attend events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday as participants, but while members of the public are permitted to stop and watch the event as spectators, organisers will take steps to discourage the public from attending, mindful of the risk especially to veterans and other vulnerable attendees.

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