Lichfield and Cannock people will be able to come together once more in December to remember their loved ones at St Giles Hospice’s Light up a Life services.
The special services, which traditionally take place across the St Giles Hospice region each year before Christmas, are returning as normal for 2021 after they had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus 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 outdoor services at St Giles Hospice in Whittington at 6.30pm on Thursday, 2nd December, Lichfield Cathedral at 8pm on Sunday, 5th December and St Luke’s Church, Cannock, at 6pm also on Sunday, 5th December.
Everyone is welcome at the Light up a Life services, where the community and those that have made a dedication for a loved one are invited to join in a moment of reflection as our 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 (corr) 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 Davies and Jackie Harrison with a picture of Christine Harrison.
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 (corr) 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.
“We are delighted that Light up a Life services can return this Christmas because we know that they mean so much to people in our local community, and the services are open to anyone, not just those people who have been supported by St Giles.
“Last year’s services had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic so this year’s services will be particularly poignant for everyone. We will be following the latest Government guidelines to ensure that they can go ahead safely.”
Dedications can be made online at www.stgileshospice.com/lightupalife and will feature on the hospice’s virtual Light up a Life Christmas tree, which is filled with shining stars and sparkling lights. Dedications made before Thursday, 11th November will also be included in the Book of Memories.
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.
For more information about Light up a Life services or to make a dedication, please visit www.stgileshospice.com/lightupalife
Light up a Life services 2021:
Saturday 27th November, 4pm – Aldridge Methodist Church
Sunday 28th November, 6pm – St Modwen’s Church, Burton upon Trent
Sunday 28th November, 3pm – St Mary the Virgin Church, Uttoxeter
Sunday 28th November, 6.30pm – Four Oaks Methodist Church, Sutton Coldfield
Thursday 2nd December, 6.30pm – Outdoor service at St Giles Hospice, Whittington
Saturday 4th December, 6pm – St Editha’s Church, Tamworth
Sunday 5th December, 6pm – St Luke’s Church, Cannock
Sunday 5th December, 8pm – Lichfield Cathedral
About St Giles Hospice:
St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering high-quality specialist care free of charge for people living with diseases which are terminal or incurable as well as providing support for their families and carers.
Patients come from across the hospice’s catchment area, which ranges from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Atherstone in the east, to Cannock in the west – and from Burton and Uttoxeter in the north, to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south.
Care is offered at the hospice’s centres in Whittington and Sutton Coldfield and in patients’ own homes across the region.
St Giles spends over £10 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.