Parades cancelled in Yate and Chipping Sodbury as remembrance goes online
REMEMBRANCE Sunday is being transformed by the coronavirus this year.
Parades in Yate and Chipping Sodbury, which together are usually attended by thousands of people on Remembrance Sunday, have had to be cancelled in light of distancing rules.
And the Poppy Appeal has also announced changes, which mean the volunteers who regularly sell poppies in supermarkets and shopping centres will be a less common sight this year.
Yate Town Council said it had taken the decision not to hold a public parade "sadly", and in consultation with St Mary’s Church and the Yate & Sodbury District Royal British Legion.
Instead a small service at St Mary's will be live-streamed for people to follow online, from 10.30am on Sunday, November 8, at yateparish.org/remembrance2020.
It follows a similar socially-distanced VJ Day commemoration service, shared online, at St Mary's in August (above).
Anyone who would like to pay their respects during the day will be able to lay wreaths at the Lych Gates from midday, while residents are also being encouraged to display poppies in windows or gardens and stand outside their homes at 11am.
Rev Gail Thomas at St Mary’s has also organised a ‘Painting Poppies on Pebbles' project, inviting children through schools and youth groups to paint stones which will line the path to St Mary’s Church. More details are available at the Yate Parish Facebook page.
Chipping Sodbury Town Council has also decided not to hold its regular parade, after "much consideration".
Mayor James Ball said: "Whilst we appreciate this will be very disappointing news for many, we must put the health and safety of all participants and the general public as a priority given the current circumstances.
"The Chairman, Royal British Legion and Church representatives will hold a very small and brief service at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday to represent our parishioners but there will be no public participation.
"Individuals and organisations may, of course, pay their respects and lay a wreath at the War Memorial at a convenient time to themselves during the weekend.
"We very much hope that we will return to normal next year and we appreciate your understanding on this matter."
The RBL is asking people to order poppies through the post for their neighbours and local community, printing a poppy and displaying it in their window or undertaking a virtual Poppy run.
Fundraising ideas for this year’s Appeal can be found at www.rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal.
For more information on buying poppies and wreaths locally, call07527 151360.