St Giles services returning after two-year Covid absence

Aldridge residents will be able to remember their loved ones at St Giles Hospice’s Light up a Life services for the first time in two years.

 Jennie Davies and Jackie Harrison with a picture of Christine Harrison.
Jennie Davies and Jackie Harrison with a picture of Christine Harrison.

The services, which traditionally take place across the region each year before Christmas, are returning as normal for 2021 after they had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Light up a Life offers families the opportunity to remember loved ones they have lost and to celebrate their lives. The events will include a service at Aldridge Methodist Church on Saturday, November 27, at 4pm.

Everyone is welcome at the Light up a Life services, where the community and those who have made a dedication for a loved one are invited to reflect as Christmas trees are illuminated and to view the messages in the Book of Memories. Dedications can also be viewed online on the Light up a Life virtual Christmas tree.

Jennie Davies, from Lichfield, and her family support Light up a Life each year after her mum Christine Harrison, from Fisherwick, died of lung cancer at the hospice in 2010 and her Auntie Pam died there in 2018 after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Jennie said: “When Auntie Pam knew the end was coming it was her last wish to go to St Giles because she remembered how well Mum had been looked after. Her care was just the same – absolutely wonderful. We are so fortunate that she ended up at St Giles and had the best care you could possibly get. Our family is so grateful.”

Jennie, her sister Jackie Harrison and niece Jade Allen now support Light up a Life every year.

“Light up a Life feels like a part of Christmas that we can still celebrate with Mum and Auntie Pam; we’re still sharing it with them,” she said.

“Christmas is such a hectic time but Light up a Life is perfect – it’s so personal and very touching. It’s like a little moment of calm in the middle of all the running around.

“Jade’s just had a little daughter and when she gets a little older she will be coming with us – it’s a family tradition.”

Director of Income Generation for St Giles Hospice, Elinor Eustace said: “Although Christmas is a time to celebrate, we understand that it can be a difficult time of year for some as we remember the family, friends or colleagues who can’t be with us.

“Our Light Up a Life services give families like Jennie’s the opportunity to come together to remember the lives of their loved ones and support the work of the hospice so that we can continue caring for those people in the local community who need us, when they need us most.w

The Book of Memories will be available to view at all Light up a Life services and on the hospice website from 1st December. It will also be available to view in St Giles Hospice and some service locations throughout December.

Everyone who dedicates a light will receive a special Light up a Life keepsake card to display at Christmas time featuring the name of their loved one, their personal message and a bookmark along with a poignant poem of remembrance.

Services include Aldridge Methodist Church, St Modwen’s Church, Burton upon Trent, St Mary the Virgin Church, Uttoxeter, Four Oaks Methodist Church, Sutton Coldfield, St Giles Hospice, Whittington, St Editha’s Church, Tamworth, St Luke’s Church, Cannock and Lichfield Cathedral.

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