Nearly 1,000 people braved the elements to light up a life and remember their loved ones on Sunday.
More people than ever in recent years took part in a poignant “Light Up A Life” service at Pendleside Hospice in Reedley where 7,500 mums, dads, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters were remembered – each one represented by a coloured light which will now shine out throughout the Christmas season.
“It was a really wonderful occasion,” said Kaye Bartle, fund-raising manager at the hospice. “People came in their hundreds and stood in the cold to take part in this moving service and remember their loved ones. It seemed particularly special and poignant this year. And although it was chilly the rain held off until right at the end of the service.”
And so far Light up a Life has raised £100,332 for the hospice’s vital work caring for the terminally ill, a record amount to have come in by the switch-on day.
The service began with a welcome from hospice chairman David Brown, was led by the hospice’s spiritual care co-ordinator Chris Cheesman and included songs from teenage soprano Grace O’Malley, who is a regular hospice supporter, and numbers from Basics Junior Theatre School.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Coun. Mrs Andy and Lorna Tatchell, then switched on the lights to bring a rainbow of colour to the drab afternoon. The Mayor has chosen the hospice as one of his adopted charities this year.
Also attending were the Mayor and Mayoress of Padiham, Coun. Howard and Patricia Hudson, Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun. Graham Roach Joanna Sagar, and Coun Rizwan Ashgar, Mayor of Brierfield.
Light up a Life is sponsored by Alderson and Horan Funeral Service in Burnley, who also donate the Christmas tree outside hospice reception.
After Sunday’s moving service volunteers handed out hot drinks and mince pies to all those who took part.