19th October 2015

Dedicate a light in memory of a loved one

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, 6th November at Worcester Cathedral which will feature King’s Hawford Choir. There will be a sign language interpreter at the service.

The main event takes place at Worcester Cathedral at 7pm on Friday, 6th 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 The Sacred Heart Church, Droitwich on Tuesday 17th November at 6pm with a choir from Dodderhill School. There will be a service at Pershore Abbey on Wednesday, 25th November at 2.15pm featuring folk singer Paula Evans and at Great Malvern Priory on Tuesday, 1st December at 6pm which includes a choir from Malvern St James school performing.

St Richard’s Hospice Senior Community 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 2,768 people. We have already had hundreds of names dedicated this year and donations of over £18,000 so far towards our hospice care.”

Those attending the Cathedral services are asked to arrive 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.

Those who donate will also receive a special photo decoration that can be hung on the Christmas tree at home.

If you would like to make a dedication please go online to www.strichards.org.uk/lightsoflove or call the Fundraising Team on 01905 763963. If you wish, the chosen names will be printed in the Worcester News on Christmas Eve, 24th December.

“This is our first year without Dad; together we’ll be attending Lights of Love to celebrate his life

My dad, Nick, had renal cancer and died in December at St Richard’s. We knew Dad might need hospice care – but we didn’t know just how much they would help us during that difficult time. At first, Dad was seen by a community nurse, Joy, who helped set the tone for all the compassionate practical care we would get from the hospice. Joy let us know that we would never be alone and listened to all our hopes and fears about the future.
Dad spent his last five days at St Richard’s. I remember everything about the hospice – the spacious rooms, the green outdoor space visible from Dad’s bed, the pond and hungry ducks and a seemingly endless supply of tea and biscuits! The children’s playroom stuffed full of everything normal and fun. The guest bedrooms meant Mum would be able to get some proper rest in the knowledge that she was just a few seconds away from Dad.
Words cannot describe the care and attention that was given to everyone who visited. The staff were calm, caring and friendly: they supported excitable grandchildren and tearful adults. The doctors and nurses were never rushed and always had time to spend with anyone who needed them, day or night.
St Richard’s is truly an amazing place; we were lucky that Dad could spend his last days in comfort and peace and we will be forever grateful.
Lights of Love will give us the chance to come together and share our memories about Dad, and importantly, it helps raise vital funds for St Richard’s Hospice 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 remarkable hospice.
Tom Groves

St Richard’s is grateful to the main event sponsor George Crump & Son Funeral Directors and to Worcester Cathedral, Leigh Sinton Farm & Nurseries and other local businesses for their support.

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,600 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.