Tree of Light services bring comfort to local community  

News and Blog

At the start of December we hosted our much-loved Tree of Light services, bringing over 500 people together in Surrey and Sussex to remember someone they love and miss this festive season. 

Our two stunning services, in Reigate on 3 December and in Copthorne on 10 December, gave members of the local community the opportunity to come together to remember their loved ones and listen to poignant readings, music and performances. The services also gave guests the chance to hang a personalised dedication star on Christmas trees, in memory of someone special.

Guests listened to a powerful address from Adam Jenkins who spoke about his dad, Mike Jenkins, and the support his family received from St Catherine’s when Mike was being cared for at home at the end of his illness.

Adam said, “St Catherine’s provided help we didn’t know we needed. They took some of the weight away and helped relieve the pressure. It gave us a new energy just when we needed it most.  

“Dad’s prognosis of months turned out to be weeks. The help from St Catherine’s meant that Dad could be at home when he died, just as he wanted. We miss him every day, being able to have him at home, just as he wanted has been a huge source of comfort for us.”

Guests had been able to add their loved one’s name to a book of remembrance which was carried forward during the service by two members of St Catherine’s staff. Those attending were able to view the book as they enjoyed mince pies and hot drinks after the service. 

Selena King, St Catherine’s Spiritual Care Lead said: “We know that this time of year can be incredibly difficult when a loved one has died – no matter how long ago that bereavement might have happened. Our Tree of Light services are a special way to support our community at this challenging time and hopefully let them know that they are not alone. The services were an important way to provide space, at this busy time of year, to remember people who have died but are still dearly loved.”