Remembering Those Who Died
Every year we remember those who died as a result of treatment using contaminated blood products with a special Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance.
The Haemophilia Society (THS) held its first remembrance service in 1991 as a private focal point for families’ grief for loved ones who had died as a result of the scandal.
Organised by Reverend Alan Tanner, who was THS’s chair of trustees at that time, and his daughter Mary Ann, the service took place at his church, St Botolph’s Without Bishopsgate in the City of London. It was attended by 140 people from around the UK, many of whom had not had the chance to grieve with other families, or even acknowledge how their loved one had died, due to the stigma surrounding HIV at the time.
It became an annual event and in 1998 permission was given to establish a permanent memorial at the church. An icon of St Luke the Physician was mounted at the memorial, where a candle burns in memory of those who died, and continues to do so today.
We are honoured to be entrusted with the Book of Remembrance which contains the names of those who died. At each service, the first names are read out and a candle is lit in memory of a loved one by members of the congregation. Sadly, the list of names in the book continues to grow every year.
Today, as much as ever, the service offers the chance to grieve and reflect in privacy with others who have been through similar experiences.
The next Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance will take place in October 2024.
If you would like to add a name to the Book of Remembrance, please email [email protected]