Local residents attended St Catherine’s Hospice Tree of Light service at St Mark’s Church, in Horsham,on Sunday December 13.
The service, which began at 6.30pm offered local people time to reflect at the start of the festive season.
Members of the community came together to remember loved ones by writing a message on a special star and placing them on a lit tree.
This event followed a similar service at Trafalgar Road Baptist Church on Sunday December 6.
Open to everyone, regardless of when they lost someone or if their loved one had been a patient of St Catherine’s, the Tree of Light is just one way St Catherine’s are fulfilling their mission of supporting all those facing death and bereavement within the community.
Christmas can be a special time of year for families and friends, but for many people who have lost someone close, it can also be a time of sadness.
The hospice recognises this and is here to help. Patients’ bereaved friends and relatives are helped by St Catherine’s and the hospice also provides wider community support through local bereavement groups in Crawley, Oxted and Dorking. These groups are open to all, regardless of whether they have a connection to St Catherine’s.
Every year, St Catherine’s needs to raise £6 million to meet all their running costs.
All donations from the two Horsham Tree of Light services will help towards funding crucial end of life care for local people, which includes Community Nursing services, Day Hospice sessions and Inpatient care at the hospice’s main site in Malthouse Road. Last year, St Catherine’s received 465 patient referrals from Horsham.
Reverend Lisa Rainer, Spiritual Care Lead at St Catherine’s, said: “Christmas can be a really difficult time for anyone suffering bereavement, but we hope this service provided some comfort to everyone who attended.
“St Catherine’s doesn’t stop caring for people after bereavement. We’re always there to support our local community.”
Report and picture contributed by St Catherine’s Hospice.