COLCHESTER Council is looking to organise a remembrance festival as part of plans to honour all those who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

The authority’s policy panel will discuss three ideas for remembering those lost to the virus at a meeting next week.

The first, suggested by Colchester High Stewart Sir Bob Russell, is a special festival of remembrance which would see a large free to attend event take place at Charter Hall.

It could be split into two parts, with a solemn service of remembrance followed by a more uplifting section.

A report says: “The intention is to have this as multi-faith event, open to all sectors of our community.

“It is also hoped the event could be replicated across the borough.

“Whilst Charter Hall is central, not everyone will be able to go there.

“Therefore, working with faith and community groups, the idea is to set a format for the event that others can follow in their own areas such as village halls or places of worship.

“The intention being that over a set weekend the whole of the borough will be able to commemorate together. This could be titled something along the lines of Colchester Remembers.”

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It would likely take place later this year or early in 2022, depending on how the pandemic progress.

A separate celebration event, hosted by the Colchester mayor and organised in conjunction with the emergency services, could also be held to thank key workers.

The report says: “The mayor would like to host an event to thank key workers, across all sectors, and also make it a community celebration of better times ahead.

“There are no firm details for this yet, but one suggestion is to have a community picnic in Castle Park with some events and entertainment.

“We are also aware that the borough police commander is keen to hold a community meet and greet day for the emergency services, and it may be possible to combine these events.”

Colchester Council could also look to install a memorial at Colchester Cemetery whilst a bench design and plaque wording could be drawn up so councillors can look into installing one in their own wards.

The council said it would prefer to take a community approach due to the expense of creating and maintaining one large memorial.

So far the council has set aside £10,000 for plans, which will be discussed at the meeting on Wednesday.