Children’s memorial service at St Mary’s Hospital

Press Release

14th June 2016

Children’s Memorial Service

Sunday 26th June 2016
St. Mary’s Hospital

Parents and families are warmly invited to attend this year’s annual Children’s Memorial Service at St. Mary’s Hospital. The service takes place on Sunday 26th June at 3pm alongside the hospital duck pond and is a service of remembrance for families who have lost a child.

Two of the Island’s NHS Trust Chaplains, Rev Kelvin Burke and Rev Janet Hallam will lead prayers and there will be a release of balloons. Rev Kelvin Burke, Senior Chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital feels privileged to be supporting the service. Rev Burke, 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. It is a real privilege to support this annual service.”

Michael and Anita Lees are grandparents and attend the service each year to remember their granddaughter who featured in the very first service. Mrs Lees, said: “It 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 wish.  They have all experienced this loss and know exactly the depth of feeling.  They understand each other.  They are ‘kindred spirits.’ Some families have been coming since its inception and to ‘meet and greet’ and 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.

Mr Lees, said: “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 they slowly drift up into the sky.”

In the event of bad weather the service will be held in the School of Health Sciences building adjacent to the duck pond at St Mary’s Hospital