Sheffield Cathedral Honours Heroes Past and Present with the ‘Big Picnic for Hope’ to mark the 75th anniversary of VE DAY

4th May 2020

Sheffield Cathedral is joining with a number of the nation’s cathedrals and uniting this VE Day in a project to remember heroes past and present as part of the Big Picnic for Hope.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8 May 2020, Cathedrals around the country had events planned to form part of the national celebrations. These events would have brought together communities, friends and families in gatherings and streets parties around the UK. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, such gatherings are no longer possible. However, 8 May 2020 is still a national bank holiday and a chance for us to reflect on past events and those we are all currently experiencing.

The Big Picnic for Hope is an opportunity for households to be part of a virtual get together on 8 May. Instead of street parties, people can stay at home, picnic indoors or in their gardens, and join friends and families virtually.

At the same time as something fun to take part in with other people around the country, the Big Picnic for Hope affords us a unique way to remember heroes who have kept our country safe in the past and acknowledge new heroes on the new home front. It gives the nation another way of saying thank you for the incredible effort and sacrifice being made by our key workers from carers, delivery personnel, grocery workers and public transport workers to medical researchers and frontline NHS staff. We must also not forget the remarkable collective effort of the nation to play our part and stay at home.

The Big Picnic for Hope also highlights many people are struggling to put food on the table for themselves and their families. In Sheffield and across South Yorkshire, the Big Picnic for Hope will also be raising essential funds for The Cathedral Archer Project a Sheffield homelessness charity. The Cathedral Archer Project is the only charity offering face-to-face support for homeless people in Sheffield and neighbouring communities during the Covid-19 crisis and has experienced a 200% increase in demand for food.

Tim Renshaw, Chief Executive at The Cathedral Archer Project commented:

“The Big Picnic for Hope is a moment of hope and light in what is a bleak landscape. We are thrilled to be involved with the Big Picnic and to be working with Sheffield Cathedral. Such partnerships and support from the public helps us be one step closer to thinking about what the future might hold for us and the people we support.”

Reverend Canon Keith Farrow, Vice Dean and Canon Missioner at Sheffield Cathedral said:

"We have all been inspired by the huge outpouring of neighbourliness, practical support and care for one another and been moved by the dedication of the NHS staff and so many other key workers in the community. At the heart of the Big Picnic for Hope is a reflection that many people are particularly vulnerable at this time, so we invite you to support through this event the vital and continuing work of the Cathedral Archer Project."

At the heart of the Big Picnic for Hope is a reflection that many people will be finding life particularly difficult, many struggling to put food on the table. With a rise in the number of people needing to access foodbanks throughout the country, and the future uncertain for many, the Big Picnic for Hope asks those who can afford it to donate towards providing another individual or family having food in their house today.

How can people get involved in the Big Picnic for Hope?

People are encouraged to share their plans and ideas for the Big Picnic for Hope using the hashtag #bigpicnicforhope. On social media people will be able to share and see their creative ideas of what to bake, what to make, how to picnic in style. This will help everyone get ready to join together on Friday 8 May to share photos of their picnics and discuss memories and stories of their loved ones, past and present, in a way fitting of the circumstances we are living through.

To join in with the Big Picnic for Hope, find out more, or share your ideas and photos visit also see participating cathedral social media and @bigpicnicforhope on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Donations to The Cathedral Archer Project can be made at:

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