A CHURCH has spearheaded a fundraising drive to create a lasting memorial to remember loved ones who died in the Covid-19 pandemic.

St Clement’s Church, in Leigh, has launched an online crowdfunder to raise £20,000 to create the new memorial, to offer a lasting legacy for those who died.

The plan also includes enhancing the church’s current war memorial, takes the form of a painted sculpture of the crucified Christ and an inscription marking the memorial as a dedication to the men of Leigh who lost their lives during conflict.

The church’s Gofundme page proposes a “special memorial space for loved ones lost to Covid”, and the creation of an “enhanced war memorial”.

Liberal Democrat councillor, Carole Mulroney, who represents Leigh on Southend Council, said: “The current memorial consists of a calvary in the churchyard which I have always felt was evocative and I think part of the problem is it is not what people imagine. People are used to seeing an obelisk and then people say that Leigh doesn’t have a war memorial.”

Mrs Mulroney added that the war memorial is popular and well-used, especially on Armistice day when “there was a service that was held in the churchyard and the annual remembrance service.”

She added: “I don’t know what the final decision is but if it was in the churchyard and it would be visible, I am 100 percent behind them.

“I don’t think it will detract from the war memorial to have a Covid memorial, it will be an addition and at the same time we remember the Covid losses we can remember our war losses.

“The thing about Covid, for me, is that we are possibly two years on and there is nothing tangible for people to remind them.”

The church’s fundraising page said: “This will be a place for us all to remember loved ones and will be a thoughtful legacy for our town for future generations to use.

“There will be stone benches with a Covid engraving that will be linked via a footpath with the current war memorial which will be smartened up.”

Visit gofundme.com/f/create-a-memorial-for-leighonsea-to-remember