Congregation meet at Shrewsbury Abbey for poignant Covid service

Salopians sang their hearts out at a special memorial service paying tribute to those lost to coronavirus, and recognising the struggle we have all faced.

SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 26/09/2021 - Memoria Service at Shrewsbury Abbey for those who have lost their lives to Covid - Shropshire Lord Lieutenant Anna Turner took part..
SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 26/09/2021 - Memoria Service at Shrewsbury Abbey for those who have lost their lives to Covid - Shropshire Lord Lieutenant Anna Turner took part..

The service of thanksgiving and commemoration recognising the impact of the pandemic took place at Shrewsbury Abbey on Sunday evening.

The event, which will be attended by the county's Lord Lieutenant Anna Turner and Bishop of Shrewsbury, Rev. Sarah Bullock. Shrewsbury Abbey vicar Rev. Dr Tom Atfield led proceedings, and a sermon was delivered by the Archdeacon of Ludlow, Rev. Fiona Gibson.

Covid survivor Stuart Tyrer also delivered a reading.

Mrs Turner said: "He was a volunteer for West Mercia Search and Rescue, and he had to fight for his life against Covid. Seeing him struggling up to read his lesson was a hugely poignant moment. He was such an active volunteer.

A Covid memorial service took place at Shrewsbury Abbey

"He has got a long way to go before he is fully recovered. That brought the seriousness of it home."

In her sermon, the Archdeacon compared the current moment in the pandemic to astronauts having to reenter the atmosphere after being in space, in terms of how difficult it is to adjust.

Mrs Turner added: "She also focused on the community and how have had to help each other." The Shrewsbury Abbey Choir, led by musical director Peter Smith, belted out songs with the congregation including Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven, When I Need a Neighbour and God Save the Queen.

"The choir led us through singing, and the organ played really loudly," said Mrs Turner. "We all felt that it was extremely nice to get together again. The feeling of singing together and being together was wonderful.

A Covid memorial service took place at Shrewsbury Abbey

"After the service we all went outside and there was a social gathering of people. We really enjoyed seeing each other."

She added: "It was very well attended by all sorts of people. It was a wonderfully emotive service.

"Although when we first started to organise this event it was to mark the end of the pandemic, we still find ourselves in the midst of it.

"It was all about getting the community together again after they had such a tough time.

"That's what we do in Shropshire. It's about everyone working together as a community."

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