Cherry Lodge Cancer Care’s 2019 Lights of Love ceremony took place on Sunday 8th December. Despite the cold weather, there was a good turn out for this very special annual event, held as in previous years at the bandstand to the rear of The Spires shopping centre.
On arrival, the organising team were met with a serious problem – there was no lighting available on the bandstand! Fortunately, an emergency electricity supply was quickly installed and the proceedings were able to start in semi darkness at 4.30pm as planned. The ceremony was was led by Margaret Clark, chairman of the Cherry Lodge trustees, who began by welcoming everyone and outlining the order of events.
The ceremony followed its usual pattern, with songs from the Cherry Lodge Singers alternating with a series of readings. The Singers, conducted by their leader, Simon Wilsher, opened with ‘What the World needs now’ and ‘Annie’s Song’. CL member and actress, Lynette, then read two poems: ‘Life’ by Emma Lowrey and ‘Work without Hope’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. She was followed by CL staff member, Yvonne, who read ‘Human Family’ by Maya Angelou. There was then another song from the Singers, ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’, followed by the third reader, CL trustee and website editor, Ruth, who read two short poems on the theme of love between different generations, especially between grandparents and grandchildren.
Glow sticks were then distributed and two CL volunteers, Freddy and Sue, read out the names of the people chosen for special remembrance (including some who are very much still alive as well as others who are no longer with us). This was followed by a minute’s silent reflection before the bandstand lights were switched on, with each person on the list of names represented by a symbolic light. The Cherry Lodge Singers then brought the ceremony to a close with the always uplifting ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, expressing a sentiment at the heart of all Cherry Lodge’s many services for people affected by cancer.
People then gathered in and around the beautifully lit bandstand to chat and enjoy mince pies and the very welcome, warming mulled wine.
Unless there are any further electrical hitches, the bandstand lights will be on each day until January.
Click on the small images below to see larger, complete photographs.