HUNDREDS of Burnley people gathered to remember their loved ones who have died at a heartfelt Christmas service.
The annual Pendleside Hospice Light up a Life service, which is the charity’s second biggest fund-raiser, took place on Sunday and warmer weather than usual saw the hospice grounds packed with visitors.
Coloured lights, which represent lost loved ones and which will illuminate the hospice grounds until the New Year, were switched on by the Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Charles Bullas, who praised the hospice for its work.
Led by Mr Chris Cheeseman, the hospice’s spiritual care coordinator, the poignant service included a reading from hospice volunteer Mrs Joan Heginbotham, music from the Salvation Army band and performances from Barrowford School Choir, who sang “Away In A Manger” and young singing sensation Grace O’Malley, who gave a heartwarming rendition of “O Holy Night,” while piper Steve Sumner played “Amazing Grace.”
There was also an opportunity for quiet reflection and to quietly remember those who have died.
Mr Cheeseman urged people to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
“We remember loved ones whose lives we can no longer touch but whose memories are fresh in all that we say and all that we do,” he said.
“Light up a Life is a way of remembering, sharing the love and sharing our love for others.”
In the New Year the names of the people remembered will be entered into a book of condolence which will be on display at the hospice.
Hospice chairman Mr David Brown said this year’s Light up a Life had so far raised £95,000 with more money expected to come in.
Anyone who wants to dedicate a coloured light to the memory of a loved one has until the end of January to register with the hospice.