Rugbeians fall silent as St Andrew's bells toll to mark one year since the beginning of lockdown
Some people fell silent and stopped in the street
The bells of Rugby's St Andrew's rung out across the town at 12pm today, March 23, in a poignant act of remembrance for those lost during the pandemic.
Across the nation people held a one-minute silence at 12pm, marking a year since the beginning of the first lockdown.
And many Rugbeians fell silent and stopped in the street when the time came and the bells of St Andrew's began to ring.
Speaking after the event, St Andrew's Rector, Reverend Canon Edmund Newey, said: "We let it be known online and in the newsletter that we were going to do something as a public witness to lament our losses and to thank those who have done all they could in terms of medical care and support.
"There's a couple of ways to respond, one can bury their head in the sand, or one can acknowledge it and take some time to think about what we have gone through both personally and as a nation.
"In doing this, we have taken the second option - an act of remembrance, both to those we lost and to those who have pulled together to help each other."
The event at St Andrew's came after Rugby council this morning confirmed that 184 Rugbeians have died with Covid-19 as the cause of death.
Rugby mayor Cllr Bill Lewis said: “One year on since the start of the first lockdown, we pause and reflect on the impact that this pandemic has had on our communities.
"To date, 184 residents of our borough have lost their life with Covid-19 as a cause of their death.
"Nearly 6,500 of our residents have tested positive for the virus.
“The impact has been felt in paused hospital treatments, home schooling, lost income, and the closure of local services such as pubs, restaurants, shops and gyms.
"Existing inequalities have been exposed by this virus.
“With that sombre news, we also celebrate 40,000 adult residents receiving at least on dose of a vaccine.
“We are on a path to recovery, but we will not forget the lives lost and the families and friends who mourn.”
At 8pm this evening people across the country are encouraged to hold a vigil whereby they stand on their doorsteps with a candle, torch or phone to create a beacon of remembrance.
We would welcome any photos of the vigil you could send in, together with a few words on why you are joining in. Please email any photos or words to [email protected]