Rachel Fieldhouse


Covid memorial temple leaves visitors “overwhelmed”

Covid memorial temple leaves visitors “overwhelmed”

A huge Wickerman-style Covid memorial temple that has been erected in the UK town of Bedworth and is due to be set alight on May 28 has been covered in messages to loved ones lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by the BBC.

David Best, the designer of the 20-metre-high wooden structure dubbed “Sanctuary”, said he wanted people to “bring some of the worst things you have in your life and we’ll burn them”.

Messages included: “We miss you mum”, and “To all my friends and family I love you so much”, while others thanked the National Health Service (NHS) for helping people in their “darkest moments”.

Image: BBC

When local residents Maureen and Ann went to visit Sanctuary, a tearful Ann left a message of her own and said it was “very emotional” and “didn’t think it would affect me like that”.

“I just think it’s wonderful. I have never seen anything quite like it, it’s quite overwhelming,” Maureen said.

Helen Marriage, the director of Artichoke Trust, which created the memorial, described it as a “rising temple of grief and loss that people have experienced over the last two years”.

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She added that the ceremonial burning would be an opportunity for everything to be let go, where “all that pain and grief is just up in the sky”.

Mr Best, who is well-known for his large scale wooden structures at the US Burning Man festival, collaborated with members of the local North Warwickshire community to create Sanctuary.

Image: @artichoketrust (Instagram) 

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