stmaryshospitalentranceParents and families are warmly invited to attend this year’s annual Childrens Memorial Service at St Mary’s Hospital.

The 15th Children’s Memorial Service takes place on Sunday 28th June at 15:00 in the open air alongside the hospital duck pond and will feature local band ‘ASAPH’ whose lead singer-songwriter is a nurse at the Children’s Ward.

Island Poet Lynn New has penned a poem and bio-degradable balloons and bubbles will be released during the service.  There will be songs from artists such as Seal, Puff Daddy, Robbie Williams and Eva Cassidy together with original songs played by ASAPH and prayers led by two of the Island’s NHS Trust Chaplains, Rev Kelvin Burke and Rev Janet Hallam.

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Rev Kelvin Burke, Senior Chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital, said:

“The service is for any parents or families whose children have died, from infancy through to the age of young adults, either through illness or tragic accidents.  Everyone is welcome to attend, whatever their faith. Whether it is their first year since their bereavement or whether they come year after year to remember their children who remain ‘forever young’, we warmly welcome them all.”

Speaking about this special service, Anita Lees, whose granddaughter featured in the very first service, said:

“This Service gives the opportunity for those who have experienced such a sad, momentous loss, to meet together, sing together, pray together and to talk to each other, if they so wish.  They have all experienced this loss and know exactly the depth of feeling. They are ‘kindred spirits.’ They understand each other. Some families have been coming since its inception and to ‘meet and greet’ at this service, has been a major part in their healing.  They have all loved and lost a precious child …. but ‘love’ is always with them.  It is a service for children, with familiar songs and references to favourite passages in children’s books and quotations.  The release of lovely, coloured balloons delights young siblings and adults alike, and much love is sent up to the children as the balloons slowly drift up into the sky.”

Parent, Rhona, said:

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“When a child dies, he or she is never far from the minds of the family, but life goes on, and eventually you start living a new ‘normal’ life. However, it is nice to have a service where the focus is on those children, and everyone that attends is there for the same reason-to remember their child. It is a lovely service, especially if the sun is shining. The balloon release I find particularly poignant as they fly off into the blue sky. I urge anyone that is thinking about coming but not sure, to give it a go, because as the service is outside you can be close to others if you want to be, but equally you can sit away if you prefer, but still hear what is going on.”

Kelvin Burke continued:

“It is a privilege to support this annual service. Our previous Chaplain, Gregory Clifton-Smith was drawn to this idea as a way of supporting families in the loss of their child. 15 years later this simple service in beautiful surroundings is still growing and reaching out to people on our Island.”

In the event of bad weather the service will be held in the School of Health Sciences, St Mary’s Hospital.

Sunday 28th June 2015 3:00pm at St. Mary’s Hospital

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