Hundreds light up a life for St Clare Hospice

Charity / Sat 22nd Dec 2018 at 12:01pm

OVER the last month, around 600 people have come together to celebrate the lives of friends and loved ones in a series of ‘Light up a Life’ Christmas carol and remembrance services.

The Hastingwood-based charity held a series of seven ‘Light up a Life’ services in the Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford districts throughout November and December, with carols, readings and refreshments to be enjoyed at the special services. Candles were lit at each service, with every shining light representing the life and memories of a loved one.

The first service was held in Ashdon on Sunday 25th November and the last two services were held at the Hospice itself on Saturday 15th December. The service on the Saturday was brought inside, due to the inclement weather, and split into two smaller services.

The service at the hospice was led by Revd Alison Taylor from Potter St Baptist Church. There were readings and prayers from different faith groups, which included a reading from the Quran, a Buddhist chant, and a reading of the Mourner’s prayer by Rabbi Irit Shillor of the Harlow Reform Synagogue, alongside an opportunity for people to join in with the Christmas carols.

Sarah Thompson, Chief Executive of St Clare Hospice, welcomed visitors at the Hospice’s services on Thursday 13th and Saturday 15th December. She said: “It was a privilege to welcome our patients, supporters and their families and friends to our Light up a Life service.

“These annual events encourage local people to come together to celebrate the lives of family, friends and loved ones during the Christmas period, in the company of others who understand. Christmas can be a very emotional occasion, a special season for spending time with friends and family, and for remembering those who are no longer with us. Their absence can be deeply felt, whether their death was recent, or if many years have passed.

“It was just fantastic that so many people came together in such adverse weather to remember their loved ones and it was wonderful to speak to so many people who had been helped by our dedicated staff and volunteers.”

‘Light up a Life’ services give everyone, whether they have a personal connection with St Clare or not, a very special way to remember those who will be missed over the festive period and to honour their memory in a very personal way.

Light Up A Life is also an occasion where people can make a personal dedication in memory of someone special. St Clare has an Online Book of Remembrance, as well as a hardback book which is viewable throughout the year at the Hospice, where people can make a dedication to a loved one. Those who were unable to attend one of the services can still make a dedication by visiting: stclarehospice.org.uk/light-up-a-life

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