A guest at Tree of Light hangs a star of dedication on the tree
St Catherine's Hospice brought over 400 people together last week to remember someone they love and miss, through its two stunning Tree of Light services for the local community in East Surrey and West Sussex.
It was the first time St Catherine's has held the services in-person since 2019 due to the pandemic. The first service was at the Copthorne Effingham Hotel on Sunday 11 December and the second was at Oxted School on Thursday 15 December.
The services gave guests the chance to hang personalised dedication stars on Christmas trees, listen to reflective readings and enjoy performances from local singers and musicians.
Alongside the readings and music, people listened to Lucy Bushnell speak about the care her Dad, Colin, received from St Catherine's and how it inspired her to fundraise for the charity by running the London Marathon in October, raising over £7K.
Guests had also been able to add their loved one's name to a book of remembrance which was carried forward during the service by two members of St Catherine's staff. Those attending were also able to view the book as they enjoyed mince pies and hot drinks following the service.
Martin Hill, St Catherine's Spiritual Care Lead said: "It was an absolute privilege for me to lead St Catherine's Tree of Light services for our community this year. Not only were they in-person for the first time since 2019 but it was also the first year we have had two separate services for our local community in both West Sussex and East Surrey - enabling us to reach more people who wish to remember loved ones at this time of year. We hope that these Tree of Light services have enabled local people to find some comfort in coming together to mark the life of someone dear to them who will never be forgotten."
St Catherine's Hospice provides end of life care and support to terminally ill people and their families across West Sussex and East Surrey. Every year, the hospice cares for around 2,000 people living with a terminal illness at its hospice in Crawley, in their own homes or in care homes. Eight in ten people cared for by St Catherine's are supported in the comfort of their own home.
For more information about St Catherine's or to make a donation visit stch.org.uk.