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Church calls for acts of kindness in memory of parishioner who died from coronavirus

by Press Association
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A church in Manchester is asking for acts of kindness to be carried out in the memory of an 88-year-old man who died after testing positive for coronavirus, on behalf of his family.

A post on the Facebook page of St Michael's Church in Middleton, Greater Manchester, called for a "wall of kindness" to be built in memory of Darrell Blakeley, who died at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) on Friday.

The message, shared on behalf of the family, said: "We invite you to forget flowers and cards.

"Instead we would like you to give acts of kindness.

"Help someone who is lonely or struggling during this time, who needs shopping, childcare or a chat.

"Post tiny acts of kindness given and received and share.

"Build something beautiful in Darrell's memory."

A statement on the church's page said Mr Blakeley had been unwell for several weeks.

It said: "Unfortunately, he came into contact briefly at a restaurant with a skier who had returned from Italy.

"He became poorly with his underlying condition shortly afterwards and was admitted to NMGH on Tuesday March 3 with sepsis.

"Because of his contact with the returnee from Italy he was placed in quarantine but tested negative for the virus.

"On Tuesday March 10, still in isolation, he tested positive, became extremely poorly and died late last night (March 13).

"Darrell was a faithful man at St Michael's for over 50 years, he sang in the choir with a beautiful voice, described by so many as a gracious gentleman who is going to be sadly missed. RIP Darrell.

"I cannot stress enough the need to self-isolate if you believe you are at risk of infecting anyone else.

"Please hold Darrell's family in your prayers, they have had a traumatic time not being able to see Darrell and are hurting so much. Also pray for carers in our hospitals nursing those with the virus. Thank you NMGH.

"At this time when we should not be physically wrapping our arms around each other let us ensure all those who self isolate are helped in any way they need - phone calls, shopping, etc, because where there is hope there is life.

"Let's not panic but keep hold of hope by caring not sharing."

The UK death toll reached 35 on Sunday and new measures to prevent the spread of the virus are due to be considered at an emergency meeting of the Cobra committee on Monday.

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