Service of Reflection - 23rd March

March 23rd, 2024 7pm to 9pm

7 Beechcroft Road Tooting SW17 7BU

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The National Day of Reflection is a day to support the millions of people who were bereaved during the pandemic and to reflect on the lives of the people who have died.  To mark this occasion, we are holding this third special service to support and uplift Black communities (African and Caribbean diaspora here in the UK) affected by Covid-19, highlighting the disproportionate impact.  Black people were reported to be more than four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people, according to stark official figures exposing a dramatic divergence in the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in England and Wales from The Office of National Statistics.  The current UK Covid-19 Inquiry uses the strapline ‘Every Story Matters’ and our ‘Coming Together in Hope’ services are also a way of recording our stories, ensuring that our loved ones are not forgotten, and highlighting the need to continue to seek to eradicate health inequalities between communities. 

We have had the great privilege of partnering with The Ubele Initiative over the past 3 years to organise this annual Service of Reflection as it is a cause that is close to both our hearts.  We are thankful to have another opportunity to work with Ubele and other partners again for this service.  We understand the real need to come together, in our communities and as a nation, to acknowledge the lasting pain and create a legacy of compassion.  This year, the National Day of Reflection is on 3rd March, however, this Service of Reflection is scheduled to coincide with the 4th anniversary of the lockdown on Saturday 23rd March. 


Alongside the Wesleyan Holiness Church and The Ubele Initiative the service is supported by key partners – 

• New Testament Assembly 

• Majonzi Fund 

• One People Commission - Evangelical Alliance 

• Living Loss 

• Churches Together in England 

• Churches Together in Britain & Ireland 

• JWB Virtual Ministry Assistance 

• National Church Leaders Forum 

• Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection team 

Coordinator for the service, Reverend Cassius Francis of Wesleyan Holiness Church says, “This is an important event, but it feels as if it comes at a strange time.  Even though the disproportionate impact of the pandemic is well documented and Covid restrictions are a distant memory, people are still catching the virus and suffering the effects.  At the same time the UK Covid-19 Inquiry has focussed national attention on the political decision making and actions, while grieving families still wait for answers.  I still think that it is important for us to come together, pause to remember our loved ones and know that we are not alone in our bereavement.” 

Yvonne Field OBE of The Ubele Initiative added, “We are delighted to be partnering with Wesleyan Holiness Church again because Black communities have been particularly affected; research showed higher risks because of frontline health and social care work as well as self-employment and/or have underlying health conditions.  We not only had more deaths in hospitals proportionally but also in care homes.  The far-reaching economic impact has also seen mid-life men dying disproportionately and the resultant loss of income affecting children and families more.  It is clear that the deep impact of bereavement, job loss, loneliness and on our mental health and well-being will last for decades to come.  The National Day of Reflection not only allows us to remember the losses during Covid, but also to reflect on all those who have passed, to support those who are grieving and to connect with others to help in coping with the impact of grief.” 

 Everyone is invited to attend - whatever your background, but please note that it will be a Christian service with a specific focus on Black communities. 

This time the service will be hosted by Pastor Andrew Wignal at New Testament Assembly Tooting.  We’re looking forward to welcoming the Mayor of Wandsworth, Juliana Annan; Godalming Community Gospel Choir led by Kathy McLeish, viewing an art collection by emerging artist, Mark Kainyah, founder of Armsmac ART, and much more. 

For tickets, search Coming Together in Hope III: A Service of Reflection on Eventbrite – this is a free event and pre-booking is essential to help us with planning. 

If you or a loved one are looking for support around bereavement, support will be provided on the evening by Living Loss, and we will provide information for where you can get further help following the service. 

 We hope to see you there! 

Message from Cassius Francis and Jacinta Buckle 

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