Light up a Life Provides Comfort at Christmas

Around 500 people came along to Phyllis Tuckwell’s annual Light up a Life service on Sunday 4th December, at its Hospice in Farnham. This year the Light up a Life celebrations once again took place over several days, with the service on Sunday being followed by a light projection onto Guildford Cathedral, a few days later. The names of those who had had a dedication made in their memory were shone onto the outside of the Cathedral, for any who wanted to, to visit and see. 

On Sunday evening, the Hospice was brightly lit with six beautiful glowing stars and a dove, as well as with lights and stars that were projected onto the building specially for the service. Everyone present gathered around the Christmas tree outside the Hospice entrance, where the service was held. It was led by Phyllis Tuckwell’s chaplains, Rev Dr Jill Thornton and Rev Debbie Smith, and began with an introduction from Phyllis Tuckwell’s chief executive, Sarah Church. Readings read by Councillor Alan Earwaker, Farnham’s town mayor, and Chris Tuckwell, president of Phyllis Tuckwell, and son of Phyllis and Hospice founder Edward Tuckwell, and were accompanied by carols, prayers and reflections. The Kindred Spirits Choir sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ and Farnham Brass Band led the carols. 

During the service, the lights on the tree were switched on, with each shining light representing the life of someone who is much loved and missed. Christmas can be a challenging time when a loved one has died, and the celebrations aimed to provide support and comfort to those who were remembering someone special. 

Many people made a dedication in memory of their loved ones, and these dedications were printed in the Order of Service, which was given out at the service and can be downloaded from Phyllis Tuckwell’s website. The dedications were also projected onto the front of Guildford Cathedral on the evening of Thursday 8th December, where people could go along to see their loved one’s name lit up. 

“We hope that everyone who came along to our Light up  Life service or went to see the Cathedral projection took comfort from them,” said Ruth Masters, Fundraising Manager at Phyllis Tuckwell. “We would like to thank Chris Tuckwell and Councillor Alan Earwaker for reading at the service, and Farnham Brass Band and The Kindred Spirits Choir for providing such lovely music. We would also like to thank Right at Home for kindly sponsoring this year’s Light up a Life celebrations, Guildford Cathedral for hosting the light projection, South Farnham School and The Abbey School for allowing us to use their car parks, Merlin Lighting for providing the Hospice Christmas tree and decorating it so beautifully, and Co-op Aldershot, Waitrose Farnham and Tesco Aldershot for kindly providing us with mince pies for everyone at the service to enjoy afterwards.” 

If you were unable to attend the Light up a Life service or would like to see it again, you can watch the recording online at . If you would like to make a dedication to a loved one who has died, you can still dedicate a virtual star in Phyllis Tuckwell’s online night sky at and view it whenever you wish. 

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