An online church service and a special scaled-down civic ceremony will be held this Sunday as Croydon remembers those who fought and died in two world wars and conflicts since.
Although the country has now entered a new lockdown, the government has given local authorities permission to hold limited Remembrance Sunday commemorations with tighter restrictions on who can attend.
As a result, the borough’s normal commemorations have had to be scaled back, and there will be no parade, civic service of remembrance or large public wreath-laying ceremony.
A few representatives of the council, including the Mayor of Croydon, the leader of the council and the leader of the opposition, along with a restricted number of representatives of military units based in the borough and the Royal British Legion, will pay their respects by laying wreaths at the Croydon Cenotaph and observing two minutes’ silence in a short ceremony at 11am.
To encourage people to adhere to the national lockdown, the council is encouraging members of the public to instead join an online service of remembrance streaming via the Mayor of Croydon’s Facebook page at around 10.50am on Sunday morning.
Led by the Vicar of Croydon, Father Andrew Bishop, the online service will include a bugler pre-recorded playing The Last Post from the Commonwealth War Graves site at Croydon Cemetery, with prayers led by Bishop Paul Reid of Grace Tabernacle Christian Ministries.
On Wednesday 11 November at 11am, the Mayor of Croydon and Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Ray Wilkinson will also observe two minutes’ silence at the Croydon Cenotaph to mark Armistice Day, remembering Germany’s formal surrender in 1918 to end First World War hostilities on the Western Front.
Katharine Street will be temporarily closed from 10.30-11.30am for both Sunday’s and Wednesday’s events, with Transport for London placing buses on diversion. Temporary street signs and council contractors will divert drivers and cyclists.
“The current nationwide Covid-19 lockdown restrictions mean we have to mark this Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day in a more limited way than we would usually expect.
“But although it means no military processions or crowds this year, we will follow special government guidance that still allows us to pay our respects this Sunday and on Armistice Day to the bravery and sacrifice made by millions of people in both world wars and more recent conflicts. The online service of remembrance this Sunday will allow us to recognise these sacrifices even though we cannot all be together in person this year.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council