Families remember lost youngsters

SUPPORT: Rev Chris Collison, of St Hilda's Church, Margaret Pringle, of Compassionate Friends, Joanne Lake, chairperson of the baby bereavement support group and event organiser Joan Stevenson
SUPPORT: Rev Chris Collison, of St Hilda's Church, Margaret Pringle, of Compassionate Friends, Joanne Lake, chairperson of the baby bereavement support group and event organiser Joan Stevenson
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FAMILIES who have faced the tragedy of losing a baby, child or young person offered each other support at an annual get-together.

Every year St Hilda’s Church, on the Headland, hosts a special Christmas Eve afternoon for Compassionate Friends, an organisation that links together families who have suffered the devastating ordeal of a youngster passing away.

Everyone was welcome along to the church, where families lit candles, said a prayer and left touching remembrance notes at the poignant event.

Reverend Chris Collison, St Hilda’s parish priest, said: “For families it’s a chance to chat to others, get support and light a candle in remembrance and for many it really does work.

“Christmas is an extremely tough time of year for those who have lost a young loved one, even if it’s not the first Christmas it can still feel double-heavy to cope with at this time of year.

“Hopefully, by getting the chance to speak to others and remember them in this way, it made it ever so slightly easier for them.”

Rev Collison said the church has been holding the event on Christmas Eve for as long as he can remember and started before his involvement with St Hilda’s.

As well as the event on Christmas Eve, the church holds a similar remembrance get-together for families the day before Mother’s Day every year.

Rev Collison added: “For many families it just helps to be able to come into the church, have that moment of reflection and light a candle and pray.

“The event is nothing big, but we like to think it helps families, which is the main thing.”