RESIDENTS are being urged to commemorate Remembrance Day from their homes this year as the town's usual open-church service and parade have been cancelled.

Coronavirus restrictions have forced Bicester Town Council to organise a small invitation-only Remembrance Day service at St Edburg's Church instead.

A small number of Civic and Military dignitaries will be invited to attend the socially-distanced service next Sunday.

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Residents can watch it online, which will be broadcast live via video-call platform Zoom.

It will start at 10.45am and at 11am people are being encouraged to stand on their doorstep to mark two minutes’ silence. The service will then continue to include readings and prayers, but there will not be any singing.

Mayor Councillor Jason Slaymaker said: “We know many people will be disappointed that the usual commemoration associated with Remembrance Day will not take place this year. It is sadly another event in our annual calendar that has been curtailed due to COVID-19.

Oxford Mail:

“A lot of work has gone into arranging a small remembrance service and making it Covid-secure so we as a town can still mark this important day.

“In order to keep this event Covid-secure people should not just turn up to the church or wreath laying as these events are by invitation only. However, we will be broadcasting live from the church, and I really hope people will join us from their homes to honour our servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms.”

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This year, those attending the service will lay wreaths on the War Memorial after the service. Then from noon until 3pm, groups and organisations from across the town will be able to lay their wreathes at a pre-arranged timed slot.

A one-way system will be in place to ensure social distancing and only two people per organisation will be allowed to take part.

To help maintain a safe environment the cemetery gates to the churchyard will be locked from 10am to 3pm, and access to the churchyard will be limited to church attendees and those laying wreaths at their allocated times.

Residents should also avoid gathering in Church Street during wreath laying in order to abide by social distancing regulations and the rule of six.

Reminders that the service is extremely restricted have been put up around the town, including the town council’s window in Crown Walk, and a banner has been placed on the church.

Oxford Mail:

Councillors urge people to support this year’s Poppy Appeal which has been severely restricted due to the global pandemic. Poppy Appeal organiser for Bicester, Chris Dalby, says there will be poppy trays and collecting tins in a few places around the town and neighbouring villages, but not as many as in previous years.

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The Royal British Legion has created a host of ideas on how to mark Remembrance Day on its website and people can also find out more about how they can donate to this year’s appeal, by going to