The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are leading a nationwide call to ensure that no one is left to grieve alone on Monday. The call is backed by dozens of organisations including faith groups, charities and cultural bodies.
The group, organised by the Together Coalition, is urging companies, councils and public spaces to do whatever they can to open up places where people can be together.
It is backed by groups including the Football Association, the Federation of Small Businesses, UK Sport, the Royal Voluntary Service, Rotary, Marie Curie, Saint John Ambulance, the Jo Cox Foundation and many more.
In the joint open letter they write:
“On Monday the country will take part in the biggest act of collective grieving in our history.
“It will have a profound impact on many of us. Some may feel the distress of the loss of Her Majesty directly, someone who – even if we didn’t know her ourselves – played a role in so many of our lives and who came to symbolise the best of our country. For others, this public grief may trigger our own private grief for those we have loved and lost.
“Grief is a natural process. Something we must endure in order to come out of the other side. But we know it can also create huge pain and if not managed well can lead people towards isolation and depression.
“That’s why we are asking everyone to do their bit this weekend to make sure that no one has to grieve alone. We urge companies, councils and public spaces to do whatever they can to open up places where people can be together. And even more importantly, we urge all of us to reach out to neighbours, friends, anyone who might find this moment difficult.
Invite them to watch it together, raise a glass to Her Majesty or someone we’ve lost, or simply just be together.
“The Queen has many legacies, but one of the most important is her work in bringing people together. It would be fitting that her funeral might do the same.”
Brendan Cox, Co-founder of the Together Coalition said: “Grief is something we all suffer in our lives and The Queen’s death will bring back many of our own personal experiences. But grief can also bring us closer together as a country and as communities.
“That’s why we’re asking everyone to reach out ahead of Monday and help make sure no one has to be alone. The Queen has done so much to bring the country together throughout her life, now it is our turn to do our bit.”
The Royal Biographer Gyles Brandreth said: “The emotion that this moment has unleashed is powerful. It has the potential to make us feel anxious, unsettled and alone. But it also has the potential to bring us together. We can all play our part in making sure it does the latter.”
The letter has been signed by:
● The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
● The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell
● Martin McTague, National Chair, The Federation of Small Business
● Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair, UK Sport
● Amanda Watkin, General Secretary, Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland
● Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Voluntary Service
● Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive, St John Ambulance
● Allan Cowie, Interim Chief Executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
● Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, Marie Curie
● Gyles Brandreth, Royal Biographer
● Angila Chada, Executive Director, Springboard, Northern Ireland
● Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair, The Jo Cox Foundation
● Jo Broadwood, Chief Executive, Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network
● Zara Mohammed, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
● Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive, The Football Association
● Julie Siddiqi MBE, Interfaith Advisor
● Shaykh Ibrahmin Mogra, Imam and Co-Chair Christian Muslim Forum
● Laura Marks OBE, Founder, Mitzvah Day
● Dilwar Hussain MBE, Chair, New Horizons in British Islam
● Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Chair, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board
● Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future