Over six hundred – including patients, relatives, friends and work colleagues – gathered at Arthur Rank Hospice in Shelford Bottom, on Sunday 4 December for Light up a Life: the Charity’s first official public event since moving from their Mill Road site.
Music from Ely City Military Band and Sing! Choirs (Ely, Newmarket and Cambridge) thread through the dusk as people gathered for a touching service of readings and poems, songs and carols. Hundreds of vintage style lights adorning a 25 foot Christmas tree were then lit during a moment of silence and reflection, as those gathered held those loved, in their memories and hearts. A particularly special reading this year was ‘Remember Me’, which was written by the husband of a patient who was cared for by the Hospice at the Mill Road site. It begins:
“Though I am gone dear friends,
Through busy days and silent nights,
Through all your toil and care.
Just think of me,
I will be there.”
Dr Lynn Morgan, the Charity’s Chief Executive introduced the evening, explaining: “As we have always said, it is not the bricks and mortar that make the hospice: it is the people and the service we provide. This evening gives us the opportunity to think about the why of all of this. And the why, is of course our patients, their families and their loved ones.”
As with previous years, the evening focused on past, present and future: fond memories of those loved and the Hospice’s previous Mill Road home; offering support to those now facing a difficult festive period; and hopes for the future. The Hospice’s Chaplain, Keith Morrison – who delivered the service alongside the Right Revd, Stephen Conway Bishop of Ely – shared the sentiment: “My hope for those gathered this evening as we turn on the lights is that something heard, sung, or seen will bring some light to our hearts and minds. I also hope that in turn you will find a renewed hope for the future which will be lasting and in time grow as we continue on this journey.”