Hospice staff, volunteers, supporters, friends, patients and family members came together for a beautiful service to remember loved ones.
Carols were played by City of Ely Military Band, as guests arrived at 5pm, for the poignant service sponsored by Peasgood & Skeates.
Guests were welcomed by CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice Lynn Morgan and the Hospice’s Chaplain Keith Morrison, before a lovely service of readings, poems, songs and carols was led by Keith Morrison and the Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely. Sing! Choirs performed Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ at the start of the service and ‘Wings’ (originally sung by Birdy) as it came to a close.
Hundreds of twinkling lights, adorning a beautiful a 25-foot Christmas tree sponsored by East of England Co-op Funeral Services were then lit during a moment of silence and reflection. To close the evening, Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely said:
“Let us go into the world, glad that we have loved,
Free to mourn for those we have lost,
Free to hold each other in our human frailty,
And empowered to live life to the full”
One guest who has attended the service every year since the Hospice provided care for her mum many years ago, said:
“An amazing service, as always. The choir are amazing and should sing ‘Wings’ every year, it is beautiful. I cried lots remembering my mum who passed away at the other site in 2007, but I could never not attend this special event. I even found my star in the Bistro in her memory. Thank you all for everything you do.”
One thousand two hundred loved ones were remembered in this year’s Commemorative Booklet and addendum. Hundreds of family members and friends also took the opportunity to write special wishes and messages on the back of Light Up a Life stars, which were strung together and cascaded over the Bistro in the heart of the Hospice. These stars and the Christmas tree lights will now continue to shine throughout the festive period until twelfth night, 5 January 2019.
Those wishing to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one, may continue to do so until the lights are switched off on Saturday 5 January at https://www.arhc.org.uk/light-up-a-life.asp or by calling 01223 675888. Their names will continue be included in a specially printed additional addendum which will be compiled from Monday 3 December 2018 and shared with contributors after the closing date of Saturday 5 January 2018.
Arthur Rank Hospice would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, Sing! Choirs and City of Ely Military Band for their contributions. Hawthorn kindly provided the sound system free of charge, PPP First Aid were in attendance and a host of generous Hospice volunteers gave up their time to support the evening.
Donations from personal dedications made at Light Up a Life will help the Hospice in raising the £8.1 million which needs to be secured every year, to help provide essential care for people living in Cambridgeshire with a life-limiting illness. Thanks to the invaluable support of the local community, over 3600 patients are cared for each year free of charge at the Hospice’s home in Shelford Bottom, the day treatment centre in Wisbech and in people’s own homes across Cambridgeshire via the Arthur Rank Community team.