Community joins with hospice to mark Christmas remembrance service

The Suffolk community joined alongside St Elizabeth Hospice to celebrate the lives of loved ones, who are no longer with us, at the hospice’s annual Light up a Life remembrance service.

Taking place on Sunday 19th December, at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich, Light up a Life was held as an open remembrance afternoon from 2.30pm – 4pm.

After reviewing the ever-changing environment brought by Covid-19, and the new Omicron variant, hospice organisers took the decision to make changes to the traditional Light up a Life format, in order to keep everyone safe as they came to remember their loved ones this Christmas.

However, Light up a Life still saw a performance from local singer Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, as well as providing the opportunity for attendees to view their dedications on the Christmas tree, light a candle and take a moment to remember and reflect in their own time, as music played in the background.

Catherine Sheppard, Supporter Campaigns Fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “It was an incredibly moving afternoon but also one filled with the warmth of Christmas.

“Christmas is a time for families and friends to be together and every year Light up a Life provides the perfect opportunity for the hospice to join together with the community to remember loved ones.

“To be able to hold Light up a Life as an open remembrance service in person, at the beautiful St Mary-le-Tower Church once again, was very special and on behalf of the hospice I would like to say ‘thank you’ and ‘happy Christmas’ to all who supported and helped organise the service.”

Every year Light up a Life sees the community join with the hospice to remember loved ones in a special service held at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich. However, due to restrictions concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, last year’s event was broadcast as an online video.

Over the Christmas weekend a video of Light up a Life, including additional readings from hospice representatives and Reverend Morag Finch, will be published on St Elizabeth Hospice’s Facebook and YouTube channels for all to view.

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