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ST CATHERINE’S HOSPICE TREE OF LIGHT SERVICEby Julie Kempson, Nov 2019
On Sunday 8th December at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, St Catherine’s Hospice will be holding its’ annual Tree of Light Service. The service starts at 3pm and everyone is invited to come together to remember their loved ones regardless of whether they have known someone cared for by the hospice.
The event offers the family and friends of those bereaved an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and to honour that someone special to them.
DEDICATE A STAR
As is suggested by the name, the service is centred on a Tree of Light – a large tree adorned with hundreds of lights. Anyone attending is invited to place a dedication star on other trees and also encouraged to make a donation in memory of their loved one.
This wonderful act of dedicating a star not only means you are remembering a loved one of your own, but also helping other’s by giving more people the chance to spend extra time with their family and friends.
The service this year will include music and various readings with refreshments being served after the service.
Trained members of the listening team from St Catherine’s will also be in attendance to offer support to anyone who might find this helpful.
A TIME TO REMEMBER
Reverend Lisa Rainier, spiritual care and chaplaincy lead for St Catherine’s, said: “The death of someone close is one of life’s hardest experiences. Christmas can be an especially difficult time of year as traditionally it’s a time to be with family and friends, so Tree of Light is a great way to remind those who are bereaved in our community that we understand their feelings of loss and are here to offer them support.
At Tree of Light, our decorated trees stand as beautiful, shining tributes to the people we all love and miss. And although services are designed to allow people to reflect on their loss, and reassure them that their feelings are normal, ultimately, they’re uplifting.
In fact, many people tell me that after attending Tree of Light they feel more able to appreciate and engage with the spirit of the festive season.”