Lives lit up at Christmas service of celebration

Gazette Series: Members of the congregation could dedicate a star on the tree to a lost loved one at the Cotswold Care Hospice Light Up A Life servicePicture by Antony Thompson Members of the congregation could dedicate a star on the tree to a lost loved one at the Cotswold Care Hospice Light Up A Life servicePicture by Antony Thompson

HUNDREDS gathered to remember loved ones at Christmas celebration service.

There were tears, laughter and applause as BBC journalist Ali Vowles led the Cotswold Care Hospice service at Minchinhampton Parish Church.

More than 300 people filled the church to sing carols and remember loved ones in the poignant Light up a Life service on Monday night.

Ali’s mother Joan, from Wotton under Edge, was supported by Cotswold Care Hospice at home nurses.

Steve Kerner’s wife Viv, who was an Anglican priest in Charfield, was also supported by the charity.

He told the congregation: “Viv had been supported through her illness by Cotswold Care and so it was to Cotswold Care that I turned for support when I recognised that my grief was too much for me to deal with on my own.

“Gradually I was able to face the world again. There will always be sadness, but there is also hope. Now, surrounded by family and friends I can look forward again.”

Members of Tyndale Choral Society, the Dursley Male Voice Choir and Minchinhampton Primary School sang during the service.

The most moving moment was the lighting of the Christmas tree which was dedicated with hundreds of gold stars, each one dedicated to a loved one.

Money raised from the Light up a Life appeal will go to providing more vital services in the county.

The Hospice at Home team will provide vital support to people at home this Christmas in Gloucestershire. By providing a range of support in the home, the hospice at home nurses can ensure that families can have some quality time with their loved one this Christmas.

Visit www.cotswoldcare.org.uk for more information or to donate.

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