Remembering those who died

Written by Jessica Bomford, November 3, 2022

More than 130 people came together to attend the Annual Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for those who died as a result of treatment with contaminated blood products.

The service, which took place on 29 October, was organised by the Haemophilia Society and is held at St Botolph Without Bishopsgate in the City of London. The church holds a permanent memorial to those who died in the form of an icon of St Luke the Physician where a candle burns in their memory.

A candle burns in memory of those who died below the icon of St Luke the Physician.

In his address, Father David Armstrong spoke of the mixed feelings many present or watching online might be experiencing as the Infected Blood Inquiry begins to draw to an end. He also said that the recent payment of interim compensation was likely to trigger a range of emotions and made a point of acknowledging all those in our community who are yet to receive any compensation, but who have also suffered greatly.

Father David said: ‘No matter what, if any, your religion, I think we all recognise that it is love that binds us. Love goes beyond the grave… it is that love which has given you the strength to push, to fight relentlessly for justice.’ You can read Father David’s address in full here.  

We were pleased to be joined by Paul Tanner, the nephew of Reverend Alan Tanner, who served as the Haemophilia Society’s Chair of Trustees in the 1980s and 90s and founded of the Service of Thanksgiving in 1991. Paul read ‘A Father’s Lament’, a poignant poem written by Rev Tanner for his son Mark, who died following treatment with contaminated blood products.

We are honoured to be entrusted with the Book of Remembrance which contains the names of those who died. At the service, the first names are read out and a candle is lit in memory of a loved one by members of the congregation.

As always, we are grateful to the extremely talented choir at St Botolph’s for their beautiful singing.

A recording of the service is on St Botolph’s Youtube channel.

If you would like to add a name to the Book of Remembrance, please email [email protected] or call 0207 939 0780.