Dedicate a light of love online
Lights of love will be shining across Worcestershire from November to celebrate the lives of thousands of special people who are held in memory.
St Richard’s Hospice will be holding five Lights of Love events around the county throughout November and December in the lead up to the festive season. They all follow a simple structure with readings, music and a time for quiet reflection.
The first event is an afternoon service at 2.30pm on Friday, 11th November at Worcester Cathedral which will feature the King’s Hawford School choir. There will be a sign language interpreter at the service.
The main event takes place at Worcester Cathedral at 7pm on Friday, 11th November which is usually attended by more than 1,000 people remembering loved ones. Following the service – where the RGS choir will sing – many of those attending walk to the St Richard’s Hospice Christmas Tree in St Andrew’s Spire where the dedicated Lights of Love will be switched on. The tree lights illuminate the dedicated names of loved ones which are written on boards around the Spire.
Anyone who has lost a loved one is welcome to dedicate a light and attend the moving services, not just those who have a connection with St Richard’s.
Lights of Love services will also be held at Sacred Heart Church, Droitwich on Tuesday 22nd November at 6pm with a choir from Dodderhill School. There will be a service at Pershore Abbey on Wednesday, 30th November at 2.15pm with Pershore Abbey Park School and at Great Malvern Priory on Tuesday, 6th December at 6pm which includes a choir from Malvern St James school performing.
St Richard’s Hospice Senior Fundraiser Alison Parkes said: “These services are deeply appreciated by the hundreds of people who attend – many of whom are the families and friends of people who are, or who have been, cared for by St Richard’s. These community gatherings – where people are united by their shared experience of missing someone dear – bring great comfort and support, through lighting a candle and taking time to reflect.”
She added, “Last year lights were dedicated to 2891 names people. We have already had hundreds of names dedicated this year and donations of over £15,000 so far towards our hospice care.”
Those attending the Cathedral services are asked to arrive at least half an hour before they begin.
The names of loved ones will be displayed on boards surrounding the tree in St Andrew’s Spire, Worcester and in a Books of Thanksgiving placed in Worcester Cathedral, The Priory in Malvern, Pershore Abbey and Droitwich Library throughout December.
Kristina Wagstaff and family will be switching on the lights of love in memory of her mum, Magdelena.
My mum, Magdelena, was diagnosed with a secondary brain tumour and was cared for by St Richard’s before she died in the In-patient Unit on Christmas Eve, aged just 66, only eight weeks after diagnosis.
The team gave unbelievable kindness to my family. At our darkest moment, they took us in, and because of their compassion and care, my mum was able die in the most peaceful and dignified way possible. I cannot underestimate how important those final moments were to us.
There were so many wonderful gestures of support from the team; it’s hard to pick any one in particular. However, I just wanted to share one of the most important moments for us.
Once Mum had died, we all left the room briefly. When we returned, we could smell mum’s perfume that she had used since I was a child. It was incredibly evocative. She had her arms crossed gently and was holding a single flower from a bouquet that we had brought for her earlier on that day. The nurse thought we might like to remember her that way. And I now have that beautiful image to hold on to. It seems like a small gesture but it was so touching and meaningful to us. And they do this type of thing for families such as mine every hour of every day.
We are extremely grateful to St Richard’s and I’ve already raised funds towards the care they give by taking on a challenging 27 mile coastal marathon.
Lights of Love will give us the chance to come together and share our memories of Mum and importantly it helps to raise important funds for St Richard’s to help countless other families going through experiences like ours.
I hope you can join us, light a candle and if you can, support this wonderful hospice.
Lights of Love events
Friday, 11th 2.30pm and 6.30pm for 7pm, Worcester Cathedral WR1 2LA
Tuesday, 22nd 6pm, Sacred Heart Church, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8AZ
Wednesday, 30th, 2.15pm Pershore Abbey, WR10 1DT
Tuesday, 6th, 6pm Great Malvern Priory, Malvern, WR14 2AY
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.
In the In-patient Unit, specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if appropriate, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it to continue its work.