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Following the announcement of new national coronavirus restrictions from Thursday 5 November, Portsmouth City Council is urging residents to mark this Remembrance Sunday from home. There will not be a ceremonial event at the cenotaph in Guildhall Square this year and residents are asked not to visit the cenotaph to observe the two minute silence in order to protect others and limit the spread of coronavirus.

Residents will be able take a moment to remember and reflect by watching the city’s online service of remembrance on the Portsmouth City Council website and the council’s Facebook page from 9am on Sunday 8 November.

The virtual service will feature addresses and readings from the Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, and the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Philip Egan, the Lord Mayor as well as representatives of Portsmouth’s Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities. Music will be provided by the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and musicians from the Band of Her Majesty‚Äôs Royal Marines.

The service was originally due to be live-streamed from Portsmouth Cathedral with an invited guest list of veterans associations, military, youth organisation and multi-faith representatives. The new regulations mean a church service with a congregation and numerous speakers is no longer permitted, so the format has been adapted and each address and reading will be pre-recorded.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, comments: “It is hugely important that even in these challenging times we commemorate the sacrifice of so many. With infections increasing and new national restrictions in place, marking remembrance Sunday from home this year, rather than gathering together, is the right thing to do to protect each other and particularly those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. Our online service of remembrance is intended to give people the chance to reflect and remember safely from home.”

Residents can also join together in solidarity with the armed forces community by displaying a poppy in their window. This could be a traditional Royal British Legion paper poppy, a homemade poppy or a printed picture. There are pictures of poppies available to download and print from the Royal British Legion website.

For up-to-date information about Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day in Portsmouth visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/remembrance2020