PREPARATIONS have been made for Leigh and surrounding areas to mark Remembrance Sunday in a different way this year.

The council usually arranges 14 events borough-wide but a new format is required in light of the global pandemic and to ensure public health guidelines are adhered to.

It means officers will focus on supporting services at the parish churches in Leigh and in Wigan where restrictions on the number of attendees will be in place.

To avoid large gatherings, no parades or outside services are being organised.

Elected members will be supported in arranging for wreaths to be laid at local cenotaphs.

Churches may organise their own services but will be required to have their own risk assessments and COVID-safety provisions in place.

Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “It is of course a shame that we are having to make alternative arrangements for something so important to our borough, but we are living through unprecedented times.

“Our priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic, is keeping our residents safe and following the public health guidelines.

“We have seen through our VE and VJ Day events that the borough can still come together to mark such occasions with the respect they deserve but in slightly different ways than usual. We will do so again on Remembrance Sunday.”

At each cenotaph managed by the council, poppy signs will be installed to help residents with social distancing and there will be marshals in the areas during busy periods.

Residents who would like to lay wreaths or pay their respects are asked to do so throughout the day, rather than gathering at 11am.

The council will also encourage residents and schools to display poppy posters and designs in their windows.

Coun Clive Morgan, lead member for Armed Forces, said: “These alternative plans will still allow us to recognise the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women – as we do every year.

“As part of our armed forces covenant, the council is committed to supporting veterans and the armed forces community with Remembrance Sunday being a key part of that.

“Officers have worked to ensure these services will go ahead and we will have adequate safety guidelines in place.”

The respective services at Wigan and Leigh parish churches will have limited attendance with priority given to Armed Forces organisations.

Following the services, which will be streamed live, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will lay wreaths at the respective cenotaphs.

For more information about the council’s armed forces covenant and the Armed Forces HQ, visit