On Saturday 20 November at 3.30 pm a poignant service will take place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, to remember the lives of nine members of the community who died during the pandemic. Each person was homeless and had used the services of the Bury Drop In. While not all died from COVID-19, their deaths were a direct result of lack of services available during the pandemic.
“During the Pandemic lockdown the Bury Drop In saw the death of nine of its guests from causes not directly linked to COVID-19,” said David Bonnett, from Bury Drop In. “This number has to be put into perspective, in that in the five years prior to this the Drop In had only seen at the most three guests die from various causes. We are determined that these friends should not be forgotten and just become statistics. They were all valued members of our community and they will be missed greatly. We will celebrate their lives at the service on the 20th November.”
Bury Drop In is a Christian Charity, supported broadly by churches across the town and sustained by numerous local businesses, volunteers and organisations, including West Suffolk Council, that exists to serve the homeless and vulnerably housed in Bury St. Edmunds.
“One of the indirect consequences of the pandemic lockdown was the loss of support services to some of the most vulnerable in our society,” said the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of the Cathedral. “This led to isolation and a lack of practical help. Nine guests who used to visit Bury Drop In died during this time. On Saturday November 20th we will remember them by name, tell their stories and share the sadness of their loss. This is one of the jobs given to a cathedral: to name those who might otherwise be forgotten, to give voice to the voiceless and to tell their stories. Please consider joining us for the service. All are welcome.”
The service will include candle lighting in memory of those lost, plus music, readings and prayer. Alongside the nine guests remembered, the service will also remember a volunteer from Bury Drop In who also passed away during this time.
The service is open to all. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org