St Catherine's Tree of Light returns to Surrey and Sussex

After two years online, St Catherine's Hospice in Crawley is proudly bringing back its in-person Tree of Light remembrance services this December in Surrey and West Sussex.

This year will be the first time the charity has hosted two separate events - one in West Sussex at the Copthorne Effingham Hotel on Sunday 11 December at 4pm, and the other in Surrey at Oxted School on Thursday 15 December at 7pm.

The popular services, previously held at K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, are a chance for members of the local community to come together and remember loved ones. St Catherine's understands that the festive season can be a difficult time of year for those who are bereaved and offers family and friends an opportunity to reflect on the year that's passed and honour someone special.

At the heart of the non-denominational services is a Tree of Light, adorned with hundreds of lights and the opportunity to hang a star of remembrance. There will also be music and readings and the chance to view a book of remembrance.

Free to attend, the services are open to everyone, regardless of whether they've known someone cared for by the hospice. Spaces need to be booked by visiting www.stch.org.uk/treeoflight or calling St Catherine's Fundraising Team on 01293 447361. The local charity will also record a service to share online for anyone unable to attend in-person.

The service will be led by Martin Hill, St Catherine's new Spiritual Care Lead. Martin says: "It is a distinct privilege for me to be leading St Catherine's Tree of Light services for our community this year. There is no doubt that at this time of year, feelings of grief and loss arise as the celebration of the season approaches. Gathering with others who experience this and recognising the continuing importance of those we love who have died, is something that I know is important to so many. I hope very much that you will find peace and hope in our services."

Sarah Clapp from Crawley has attended the Tree of Light services since her Mother died after being cared for by St Catherine's.

Sarah says: "Christmas always reminds me of Mum because she loved everything about it! Her birthday was December 17th, and it would always start Christmas off in our house.  December is particularly tough for our family, and we miss Mum even more than usual. But every year I attend the Tree of Light because the service and hanging a star in Mum's memory gives me the strength to get through the month." 

There will also be additional Tree of Light church services around East Surrey and West Sussex, details of these will be available at stch.org.uk/treeoflight.

St Catherine's Hospice provides end of life care and support to terminally ill people and their families across Crawley, Horsham, East Surrey and Mid Sussex. For more information about St Catherine's or to make a donation visit stch.org.uk.


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