A new Covid garden of remembrance giving Ipswich people "somewhere to sit to reflect and pay respect" has officially opened.

St Mary le Tower held a service on Saturday, featuring speeches, hymns and prayers on what marks four years after the first lockdown started.

The garden has been cultivated by residents, featuring a moveable memorial sculpture in the shape of a dove with a sprig of olive in its beak, inspired by the hope of the receding pandemic, as well as the time many spent in their gardens during lockdown watching the birds.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Garden of RemembranceThe Garden of Remembrance (Image: Tom Cann)

The garden has been created to remember all those who sadly lost their lives during the pandemic.

At the ceremony, which was held this morning, Reverend Tom Mumford lead prayers, as well as a new hymn, and he blessed the garden, before it was officially opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, Lynne Mortimer.

At the opening, Reverend Tom Mumford addressed the congregation, saying: "The garden becomes a permanent witness to our loss and to our thanksgiving of all those who worked through the pandemic.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mayor of Ipswich Lynne Mortimer with Reverend Tom Mumford unveiling the sculptureMayor of Ipswich Lynne Mortimer with Reverend Tom Mumford unveiling the sculpture (Image: Tom Cann)

"May it remain open, safe, hopeful and resilient in all weathers to remind us of our strength and our fragility in the solidarity of the taken.

"We know that suffering continues amongst those dealing with long-term symptoms, those newly taken ill and those for whom other treatments were delayed."

Mayor Lynne Mortimer added: I am honoured to officially open this garden in remembrance of those who died and in tribute to those who selflessly serve.

East Anglian Daily Times: Reverend Tom Mumford blessing the gardenReverend Tom Mumford blessing the garden (Image: Tom Cann)

"We now have somewhere to sit to reflect and pay respect, to those who we lost, we grieve.

"Here is a place of solace and hopefully comfort.

"On behalf of the town of Ipswich, I thank those who have sacrificed so much, and I am happy to open this Covid Garden of Remembrance here in the heart of Ipswich."

East Anglian Daily Times: The sculptureThe sculpture (Image: Tom Cann)