A FORMER Communards and Strictly Come Dancing star turned popular cleric is set to put in an appearance at an event hosted in York.

Reverend Richard Coles is set to deliver the keynote at York St John University’s second international online bereavement conference which will include the latest research as well as inspirational stories of resilience from those personally affected by grief.

The conference takes place on Saturday (November 27), and is presented in collaboration with Online Events.

Along with Rev Coles the centre will welcome Linda Magistris CEO and founder of The Good Grief Trust and Professor Robert Neimeyer Director of the US Portland Institute for Loss and Transition as the three keynote speakers.

Attendees will hear about latest bereavement research, and from people personally bereaved by Covid-19 with representatives of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice also among the speakers. There will also be performers and musicians who offer creative means through which to honour and celebrate lost loved ones and to transition through loss and grief.

Dr John Wilson and Professor Lynne Gabriel, from York St John University’s counselling and mental health centre are co-hosting the event.

Professor Lynne Gabriel said: “Our lives changed irrevocably when Covid-19 struck and spread throughout the world. We now live in a global Covid-19 context and whilst vaccination programmes are rolling out globally, in living through and with Covid-19, well over 5.14 million lives have been lost.

“This stark statistic masks the pain and paradox of losing loved ones, as well as the passion and persistence of the bereaved as they move forward in life. Our 2nd Online Bereavement Conference provides a compassionate and contemporary context through which we consider personal, social, and political aspects of living with and beyond Covid-19 and of recovery from traumatic grief.

“Come and join us for what promises to be a powerful, inspirational event.”

Dr John Wilson said: “Conferences can be occasions of interest to academics, but to few others. This conference is very different. We do have some of the best specialists in the field to update us, but we’re also giving a platform to those personally affected by grief, to share their creativity in loss, and inspire you with their resilience. We bring you music and poetry, humour and pathos, campaigners and supporters, to share what the past year has meant to so many people.”

Booking is open via eventbrite.co.uk/e/2021-bereavement-conference-tickets-130845910641