Remembrance Sunday events under the COVID-19 restrictions

St Giles’ & St George’s, Ashtead
Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2020
Contact: Trevor Hood, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 01372 813964
Ashtead Churches Together will hold an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial by St George’s Church, Barnett Wood Lane on Sunday 8 November. Due to Covid restrictions, we will not gather as a community at the war memorial as we have done in the past. Clergy will lead the Act of Remembrance and invited representatives of the community will lay wreaths. The two minute silence will be marked by a bugle.

The service will be streamed live from the War Memorial on our YouTube channel, SGSGAshtead, starting at 10.55am and ending at 11.05am. We ask the community to watch this rather than gather together.

If you would like to visit the war memorial to ’plant’ a poppy in the display, please do so from Monday 2 November. If others are present when you visit, thank you for observing social distancing.

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We are aware that the public will be watching Covid-19 developments closely and considering the impact they will have on Remembrance Sunday events.

It may be very difficult to manage events and ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines (particularly the ‘rule of 6’) during Remembrance Sunday events and at war memorials where wreaths may be laid.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) have said that they will not be requesting any road closures this year across Surrey. They are putting in arrangements to ensure that the wreath laying will be private with no more than 6 people being present. The RBL standard-bearer may attend along with a small group. Standard bearers have been instructed that they are not to take part in any parade but may participate from a static position either lining the route or at the memorial itself.

The ages and vulnerability of ex-service personnel and veterans’ groups means we need to ensure that they are protected from possible transmission. This does not mean that there will be no acts of remembrance this year, only that they will be different and focused on families and individuals taking time to remember the fallen and those that have served in times of conflict. Some churches are hosting small services according to COVID-19 guidelines. Contact organisations directly to find out if they are live streaming their service.

There will still be the 11am two-minute silence and the national message will be to share this as family and household groups. Surrey County Council will be urging residents to show this mark of respect on their doorsteps or in their homes in the same way that we came together on Thursdays to thank the NHS.

It is also, the case that not all remembrance events are organised by the RBL, but given their stance, we would hope that other Remembrance Sunday event organisers take the same approach. Event organisers need to be aware that it is their responsibility to have carried out a full risk assessment and implement measures to try to control the risk of spread of infection. All events would also need to comply with the attached checklist produced by the Surrey Local Resilience Forum’s Strategic Co-ordinating Group.

Further guidance can be found at the following sites:

https://www.local.gov.uk/covid-19-outdoor-events-guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

In addition, guidance is available at the Government’s business support page https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support