Birmingham’s annual Remembrance Sunday service will look very different this year, due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

While there will be no public event in the city centre, people looking to remember the fallen will be able to watch a live-streamed Service of Remembrance from Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip’s) on 8 November at 10.45am.

The service, for a small group of invited guests, will be significantly scaled back with far fewer official participants to ensure it can take place safely.

This means there will be no service or military parade on Colmore Row, so instead people are being urged to carry out their own acts of remembrance at home or school – and to share online using hashtag #BhamRemembers.

List of names on the 'Tree of Life' war memorial sculpture in Birmingham Adam Yosef
List of names on the ‘Tree of Life’ war memorial sculpture in Birmingham

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “This year, as the pandemic continues, it is Birmingham City Council’s position that it is safest for people to observe Remembrance Sunday at home.

“The Lord Mayor will be leading by example by taking part in a virtual service, live-streamed from Birmingham Cathedral, which we are encouraging people to watch online – we’re asking people not to come into the city centre as there will be no public event. The decision to scale back the city’s Remembrance Sunday event and to have a virtual service instead is supported by the Royal British Legion.

“Likewise, on 11 November people are urged to remember the fallen on Armistice Day by observing the two minutes’ silence either at home or work – and not to travel into the city centre – as there will not be a public commemoration.

“We are happy to discuss individual requests with those looking to organise their own events, to share information about the issues and risks of staging events during this pandemic, and the evolving restrictions organisers face. Any final decision would then be made by a multi-agency Safety Advisory Group.”

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Mohammed Azim, marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home earlier this year in May Mohammed Azim.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Mohammed Azim, marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home earlier this year in May

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Mohammed Azim, said: “It is very sad we are unable to gather together for the city’s annual Remembrance Sunday, but we will still remember the fallen who sacrificed so much.

“As the pandemic continues, nobody would be expecting thousands to gather for our usually large, public service with many elderly people – including veterans – who are more vulnerable to coronavirus.

“Instead I’m asking Birmingham’s citizens to watch the live-streamed service from St Philip’s Cathedral and take time to remember the men and women who died while serving their country.

“For the same safety reasons the cathedral service cannot be a public event, please pay your respects at home and do not come into the city centre. We will remember them, wherever we are.”

The Birmingham City Council House displaying red poppies ahead of Remembrance SundayAdam Yosef
The Birmingham City Council House displaying red poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday

Gillian Guy, County Chairman of Warwickshire and Birmingham Royal British Legion, added: “We fully understand why Birmingham has had to scale back its Remembrance Sunday event and support the decision to have a virtual service instead.

“Given the large numbers usually involved, it is the right thing to ask people to stay at home in the interests of public safety – and I hope they will still tune in to watch the live-streamed service.”

Individuals and organisations that wish to have a wreath laid at the Hall of Memory on Sunday 8 November can deliver them to the Council House (Gatehouse entrance) between Monday 2 November and Friday 6 November and they will be laid on their behalf.

For further details of the service and how people can watch the live stream, visit the Birmingham City Council website here.


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