Lantern parade to honour a loved one

Those missing a loved one this Christmas are being invited to take part in a lantern parade through Ipswich town centre.

IPSWICH: Those missing a loved one this Christmas are being invited to take part in a lantern parade through Ipswich town centre.

The procession will form part of St Elizabeth Hospice's annual Light Up a Life event and anyone is welcome to participate.

It is the first time the hospice has organised the lantern procession, which will be led by Ipswich Boys' Brigade Band.

People are asked to bring their own lanterns, lit with tea lights or torches.

The procession will leave the Cornhill, outside the Town Hall, at 3.45pm on Sunday, December 13, and a service at St Mary le Tower Church in Tower Street will follow at 4pm.

The Right Reverend Clive Young, Bishop of Dunwich, will take part and there will be Christmas carols, music and readings.

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The newly-formed St Elizabeth Hospice Community Choir, made up of staff and volunteers, will also be making its debut public performance.

Among the supporters for this year's Light Up a Life events is Dr Tony Michael, of Westerfield Road, Ipswich, who is facing his first Christmas without his wife Janette, a former advertising sales manager for the Suffolk Business Magazine and the Suffolk Magazine.

The mother-of-two, who was 53, died at St Elizabeth Hospice in July this year following a courageous nine-year battle with breast cancer.

He said: “Last year Janette was determined to have a family Christmas. She put all her energies into planning it, decorating the tree and deciding what presents to buy. I knew why she was making a fuss. She was convinced that Christmas was going to be her last and it was.

“This Christmas will be hard. Light Up a Life is a way of remembering and reflecting at a difficult time of year.”

There are other Light Up a Life events taking place across Suffolk, including a service in Stowmarket on Sunday, November 29, at 4pm, a carol concert in Framlingham on Sunday, December 6, at 4pm, and the lighting of a Christmas tree in Eye town centre, on Friday, December 4, at 6pm.

For more information about the events, contact the fundraising team on 01473 723600, e-mail fundraising@stelizabethhospice.org.uk or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.