2,000 people joined together this weekend to remember those who had passed away in a moving ‘lights of love festival’ held at Willen Hospice.
Held over a weekend in order to accommodate the amount of guests, Willen Hospice ‘Lights of love’ festival saw 2,000 people gather to remember those family members, friends and partners who had sadly passed away.
The Garden room was transformed into a special memorial, with four books immortalising the names of those who had lost their battle with cancer. The volunteers provided the children with stars which they could dedicate to a family member; these will be entered into a book which will be on display all year.
A small shop enabled visitors to buy candles, electric for the service and commemorative church candles to take home. Offering complimentary refreshments to warm against the wind, the assembly gathered outside for the service.
With the melodic sounds of the choir and brass band singing in the background, the crowd sang traditional Christmas hymns before Chaplain Steve Barnes delivered a moving sermon in which he read an email from a friend honouring the influence our loved ones had on our lives, even if they are not with us. The guest of honour, 11 year old Sam, was chosen to turn on the lights in memory of his best friend who had grown up beside him before passing.
The tree, which overlooked Willen Lake, was illuminated with beautiful white lights while two smaller adjacent trees was colourfully lit and decorated with the memorial stars that the children had written earlier. A Scottish piper entranced the audience as the crowd fell silent in thought before descended to the sound of the brass band.