St Michael’s Hospice has released details about this year’s Lights of Love services across Hastings and Rother.
Each year St Michael’s Hospice hosts Lights of Love, an opportunity to make a tangible act of remembrance for loved ones no longer with us, in the form of dedicating a star or heart on a Lights of Love tree.
Whether your loved one received the care of St Michael’s Hospice or not, young or old, local or further afield, all can be remembered with Lights of Love.
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Every year hundreds of people join together in the simple act of writing a personal message on either a star or a heart which cover our beautiful Lights of Love trees.
Each star or heart is placed near a light on a tree at the location of your choice.
This year there will be trees located in nine towns and villages across the Hospice’s catchment area of Hastings and Rother.
Lights of Love church services take place on Sunday 1st December and Sunday 8th December, which everyone is welcome to attend. All services start at 3.15pm, with the exception of the service at St John’s Church on Pevensey Road, St Leonards on Sea, which starts at 3pm; and are followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 4pm.
Please visit the Hospice website for a list of locations and dates.
Two non-church Lights of Love ceremonies will also be held at the Hospice, Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards on Sea, on Wednesday 4th December at 6.30pm and Thursday 12th December at 3.15pm.
Local woman Cheryl has taken part in Lights of Love since 2017. She said: “Lights of Love has now become the beginning of our Christmas; our way of including my mum in what was one of her favourite times of year.
“The joining together of people who have loved and lost, yet the sharing of experiences, the smiles across the room through the tears and the understanding of each other’s hurt, pain, love and stories just creates an atmosphere like no other, like you are in a bubble where everyone is there for the same reason and where unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t imagine it.
“I really would recommend it to anyone who has lost a loved one and who has an opportunity to attend one of these services, even if only once.
“It gives you a way of including them at Christmas; a time you may be dreading without them, and a chance to meet other people in your shoes.
“I promise I was very nervous before attending the first time, but the people, the staff, the volunteers all make you feel so welcome, and if you happen to attend the services at the Hospice itself, I will be there if you need anything.”
St Michael’s Hospice Director of Income Generation, Perdita Chamberlain, said:“For many, Lights of Love allows for reflection and remembrance in our increasingly busy lives.
“It offers a moment of calm, of peace and contemplation for those whom we have loved and lost.
“The act of coming together at one of our Lights of Love services, whether in church or at the Hospice, provides comfort and reassurance, a chance to reminisce, be sorrowful, be quiet and, at the same time, to celebrate the lives of those we have loved, to be thankful we have loved them and to have the support of those around us at such a time.”
You can pick up stars/ hearts from all St Michael’s Hospice shops, the Hospice reception, or they can be requested by post. Please call 01424 456396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the services you will be able to view your star/ heart and the Book of Remembrance. Most of the trees used for Lights of Love have kindly been donated by Little Down Farm, off main Road, Westfield.