United in remembering a lost loved one at Hospice of St Francis lights ceremony

Light Up A Life 2013 at the Hospice of St Francis.
Light Up A Life 2013 at the Hospice of St Francis.

Hundreds of people gathered together to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones at a Light Up a Life ceremony on Sunday.

Mums, dads, grandparents and children gathered at the Hospice of St Francis for the annual service of dedication, which included special readings, a selection of carols, live musical performances and the lighting of the Remembrance Tree.

Light Up A Life 2013 at the Hospice of St Francis.

Light Up A Life 2013 at the Hospice of St Francis.

“It was a beautiful, very moving ceremony,” said Laura Thorpe, who came with her whole family, including her son Oliver, aged three, to remember her uncle Alan Barrington and grandad Arthur Barrington, from Hemel Hempstead, who died last year after spending their final days at the hospice.

“It was just lovely to be with people who were all there for the same reason, supporting each other and thanking the hospice for the care our loved ones have all received.”

Light Up A Life gives every member of the community who has lost a loved one the chance to dedicate a light to them and remember the life they shared together.

Hospice director Dr Ros Taylor said: “Twelve-year-old Matthew Tester-Wilson played a really emotional piece of music on the piano called, Life is Hard, But There is Always Hope, which he composed in memory of his dad, David, who we cared for at home following two admissions to the hospice before he died in February this year, aged 43.

“There was also a solo by Louise Kleboe, who sang Autumn Leaves in memory of her close friend Boo Armstrong, from Hemel Hempstead, who died of breast cancer at the age of 37 in October last year.

“I hope people felt uplifted and strengthened by sharing their memories and I’d like to thank everyone for coming and everyone who’s contributed to our Light Up a Life Appeal.”

The hospice would also like to thank Ashlyns School for providing additional parking, Berkhamsted School volunteers for serving refreshments, local schools for providing minibuses, The Chiltern Ladies Choir, The Hemel Hempstead Brass Band and everyone who supported the event.

Find out more about the hospice by clicking here

>Pictures by Eddie Dillon.