Faith leaders have come together at Bellozanne to bless a temporary mortuary to be used if the island's current facilities become overwhelmed as deaths rise due to the virus crisis.
Named the 'Sanctum', the facility is located at the far end of Bellozanne Valley.
It will be staffed by local funeral directors and hospital mortuary staff, and be protected by 24-hour security.
Video: Faith leaders delivering a blessing. (Clips from Government of Jersey)
Faith leaders gathered at the Sanctum on Friday to offer a blessing to the facility.
Among the group were the Dean, the Very Reverend Mike Keirle; Vice Dean, Reverend Canon Geoff Houghton; Catholic Dean, Reverend Canon Dominic Golding; Methodist Minister Reverend Jenny Pathmarajah; leader of Jersey's Muslim community, Dr Sarfraz Jamali; and Mr Stephen Regal, President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation.
“Under a worst case scenario, the Sanctum will provide an extension of the Island’s existing mortuary services and will be used as a resting place for the deceased until funeral arrangements can be made," explained Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey, who has been chairing a group tasked with ensuring islanders are still laid to rest with dignity if there is a large-scale loss of life as a result of the pandemic.
Pictured: The Co-ordinating Group Chair said that, if the Sanctum is used, islanders "will be treated with the utmost care and dignity". (GoJ)
"The facility has been developed using existing emergency plans, in collaboration with members of the COVID-19 response multi-agency groups, and it will ensure that we are suitability prepared should the worst happen.
“As Chair, I want to reassure the public that if the Sanctum should ever be used, islanders will be treated with the utmost care and dignity.”
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