Faith leaders joined together today to share thoughts and prayers inside Bristol’s temporary place of rest, built in response to the coronavirus impact
Representatives from faiths across the city, alongside a humanist celebrant, paid tribute to everyone affected by the pandemic, as they viewed the purpose-built structure in Brislington.
Although no funeral services will take place at the site, Bristol City Council held the ceremony so faith and non-faith representatives can help bereaved people better understand the process.
The Sandy Park place of rest will provide temporary storage for up to 240 deceased people. It has been quickly established to ensure sufficient capacity to allow for dignity and respect to be maintained before funerals are held.
Attendees included The Bishop of Bristol Vivienne Faull virtually over Zoom, The Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Bristol, Sister Jinho, Humanist Celebrant Chrissie Hackett, and Zaheer Shabir represented the Muslim community.
A number of other faith leaders unable to attend in person joined the ceremony by Zoom, including Rabbi Monique Mayer, Hindu representative Shiv Sama, and Canon Bosco MacDonald, Catholic representative.
The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Jos Clark also attended.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is a difficult time for everyone in our city and we know the reason for building this place of rest is distressing for our communities. It’s important we take all preparations necessary so we can provide a dignified place to rest for citizens who sadly lose their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today’s event exemplified kindness, respect and dignity. It’s reassuring to see representatives from a range of faiths and non-faiths coming together today. I hope it gives some comfort to all our residents that we will do all we can to support each other through this difficult time.
“We stand with people from all faiths and no faith because We Are Bristol together.”