Over 1,500 people gathered at Worcester Cathedral on Friday 6th November to remember their loved ones in the annual St Richard’s Hospice Lights of Love services.
The afternoon and evening Cathedral services were the first of five to be held in the county during the next few weeks. They all follow a simple structure with readings, music and a time for quiet reflection. Anyone who has lost a loved one is welcome to remember a loved one by dedicating a light, not just those who have a connection with St Richard’s.
In the region of 500 people attended the afternoon service in the cathedral which featured the choir from Kings Hawford School. More than 1,000 people filled the Cathedral for the evening service which included readings and singing by the RGS choir. Many of those attending the evening service then walked to the St Richard’s Hospice Christmas Tree in St Andrew’s Spire where the dedicated Lights of Love were switched on. The tree lights illuminated the dedicated names of loved ones which are written on boards around the Spire.
The Lights of Love were switched on by Tom Groves and his family who were remembering his father Nick who had been cared for by St Richard’s.
Mr Groves was joined by his mother Anne Groves, sister Jane Evans and his wife Alex Groves.
St Richard’s Hospice’s Senior Fundraiser Alison Parkes said: “The Cathedral services and the lighting of the tree are deeply appreciated by many people. It is a very moving experience where people are united by their shared experience of missing someone dear. The services bring great comfort and support through lighting a candle and taking time to reflect.”
She added, “We have already received more than 2,200 dedicated names and donations for Lights of Love and more than £37,000 towards our care of patients and their families. We are extremely grateful to everyone who supports St Richard’s Hospice in this way.”
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, at Pershore Abbey on Wednesday 25th November at 2.15pm including a performance from professional singer Paula Evans, and at The Great Malvern Priory on Tuesday, 1st December at 6pm with a performance from Malvern St James School choir.
The names of loved ones will be displayed on boards surrounding the tree in St Andrew’s Spire, Worcester and in 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.
Anyone wanting to make a dedication should visit the hospice website at www.strichards.org.uk/lightsoflove or call the Fundraising Team on 01905 763963. If desired, the dedicated names will be printed in the Worcester News on Christmas Eve, 24th December.
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.