Around 900 people came together to remember someone they love at St Catherine's Hospice Tree of Light on Sunday (9 December).
The service, which gave local people a chance to hang personalised dedication stars on Christmas trees and listen to reflective readings, took place at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley.
Alongside the readings, people listened to Wendy Buckingham speak about the care her husband Ken received from St Catherine's in 2016. They also enjoyed music from the OneVoice Community Choir and a solo performance of Ed Sheeran's song, Photograph, by Rasela Sosoli.
During the service Tina Meadows, a Nursing Assistant on St Catherine's Inpatient Unit and Matt Buckland, Senior Physiotherapist, carried the Book of Remembrance forward. People were also able to view the book as they enjoyed mince pies and hot drinks after the service.
Traditionally, Christmas is a time when people come together with family and friends. But for many people who are bereaved it can also be a time of sadness. St Catherine's recognises this and is here to help. In addition to supporting patients and their families, the hospice also helps people in the wider community through bereavement groups in Crawley and Oxted. These groups are open to everyone, regardless of whether they have a connection to St Catherine's.
Reverend Lisa Rainier, Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Lead at St Catherine's, said "It was a privilege to lead our Tree of Light service and have so many people join us to remember someone special to them. We hope it provided comfort to those who attended. We'd also like to thank everyone who made a donation to our hospice. Your generosity and kindness will help us provide care for even more people in the future."
For more information about St Catherine's, or to make a donation to support local people this Christmas please visit: www.stch.org.uk