Lights of Love – a magical time of comfort and reassurance

Each year St Michael’s Hospice hosts Lights of Love, an opportunity to make a tangible act of remembrance for loved ones no longer with us, this takes the form of dedicating a star or heart on a Lights of Love tree.

Whether your loved one received the care of St Michael’s Hospice or not, young or old, local or further afield, everyone can be remembered with Lights of Love.

Every year hundreds of write a personal message on either a star or a heart which cover the Lights of Love trees. Each star or heart is placed next to a light on a tree at the location of your choice. This year there will be trees located in nine towns and villages across the Hospice’s catchment area of Hastings and Rother.

Lights of Love at St Michael's Hospice, St Leonards.
Annabel and family at Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony.

Lights of Love church services take place on Sunday December 2nd and Sunday December 9th, which everyone is welcome to attend. All services start at 3pm and are followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 4pm.

Services taking place on December 2nd are

Bexhill on Sea
Service at St Mary Magdalene’s Church
Sea Road
Trees at St Mary Magdalene’s Church

Hastings Crematorium
Service in the Chapel
The Ridge
Trees outside the Chapel

Hastings Old Town
Service at All Saints Church
All Saints Street
Service at All Saints Church

Winchelsea
Service at St Thomas the Martyr
St Thomas Street
Tree inside St Thomas the Martyr

Ninfield
Service at St Mary the Virgin
Church Lane
Tree and refreshments Ninfield Methodist Church, Church Lane

…and those on Sunday December 9th are at

Little Common
Service at St Mark’s Church
Green Lane
Tree inside St Mark’s Church

Battle
Service at St Mary the Virgin
Upper Lake
Tree inside St Mary the Virgin

St Michael’s Hospice 
Service at St John’s Church
Pevensey Road
Trees at St Michael’s Hospice

Rye
Service at St Mary’s Church
Church Sqaure
Tree inside St Mary’s Church

There will also be a non-religious ceremony on Wednesday December 5th at 6.30pm at St Michael’s Hospice, Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards on Sea, TN38 0LB

Annabel has taken part in Lights of Love for the past five years, she says: “Thinking about and writing my star for the Lights of Love event in December is always the start of my Christmas. I write the same poem to my parents every year and just reading the words back to myself will always bring tears to my eyes. As I pop the star into the post box I’m already wondering which tree we will find it on and who else I will meet there this year. It’s such a magical sight that I love to share it with others.

“The buzz and chatter as families gather around the trees touching their stars and reading others nearby is a comforting feeling. Then as the sky turns deep blue the lights are switched on and the trees glow with the stars reflecting the warm twinkling lights. Just being there, where mummy died, is comforting too. But I’m there for my dad as well even though he didn’t die in the hospice and friends are there too remembering their loved ones, young and old.

“Everyone is welcome to send in a star and join in this special event. Experiencing the warmth that the hospice gives is magical.”

St Michael’s Hospice Director of Income Generation, Perdita Chamberlain, says: “For many, Lights of Love allows for reflection and remembrance in our increasingly busy lives. It offers a moment of calm, of peace and contemplation for those whom we have loved and lost. The act of coming together at one of our Lights of Love services, whether in church or at the hospice, provides comfort and reassurance, a chance to reminisce, be sorrowful, be quiet and, at the same time, to celebrate the lives of those we have loved, to be thankful we have loved them and to have the support of those around us at such a time.”

You can pick up stars or  hearts from all St Michael’s Hospice shops, the Hospice reception, or they can be requested by post. Please call 01424 445177 or email lightsoflove@stmichaelshospice.com.

At the services you will be able to view your star/ heart and the book of remembrance. Most of the trees used for Lights of Love have kindly been donated by Little Down Farm. (www.littledownfarmchristmastrees.co.uk)

For more information please visit the Hospice website www.stmichaelshospice.com/lightsoflove

 

 

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