Gathering to remember AIDS sufferers

A GATHERING to remember the people of Suffolk who have died from Aids is being held in Ipswich next month.Some of the names of those from the county who have died from the disease will be read out and there will be an opportunity to light candles in their memory during a 30-minute reflection period at the St Nicholas Centre in town on World Aids Day, Saturday, December 1.

A GATHERING to remember the people of Suffolk who have died from Aids is being held in Ipswich next month.

Some of the names of those from the county who have died from the disease will be read out and there will be an opportunity to light candles in their memory during a 30-minute reflection period at the St Nicholas Centre in town on World Aids Day, Saturday, December 1.

Organised by Christian HIV/AIDS Resources in Suffolk (CHARIS), there will also be exhibitions and information booths by health care and community safety groups, as well as a screening of the film, A Closer Walk, which follows the plight of people living with Aids.

This subject is one that CHARIS spokesman, Reverend Andrew Dotchin, the vicar of the Whitton Parish, feels strongly about since he founded a hospice for people with Aids in Johannesburg several years ago.

He said: “Each year for several years CHARIS has gathered together a group of people in different churches in Ipswich on World Aids Day to remember and reflect on those, in Suffolk and elsewhere in the world, who have been affected by HIV/Aids.

“This year, as December 1 is a Saturday, it was decided to extend the occasion beyond those who have faithfully gathered year by year to a wider community of concerned people.”

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At 11am, there will be a display of resources from community groups, then the time of remembering begins at 1pm, marked by the tolling of one of the bells at the centre.

During this time, people from different faiths will read their reflections on the challenges of HIV and Aids, and the names of those who have died of AIDS from Suffolk's Book of Remembrance will be read out. This part of the day will be attended by the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Inga Lockington.

The free film then starts at 2pm where light refreshments will be served.

For more information call Rev Andrew Dotchin on 01473 741389 or e-mail andrew.dotchin@ntlworld.com

Have been affected by a life-changing disease? Tell us your story. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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