Scores of people gathered to remember their loved ones at a poignant annual service and ceremony in Bury St Edmunds.
The St Nicholas Hospice Care service of prayers and remembrance was held at St Mary’s Church before a candlelit procession from the church to Angel Hill for a Light up a Life ceremony.
The Rev Canon Malcolm Rogers, of St Mary’s Church, said: “You are all welcome, especially those who are here this evening to remember loved ones who have died.
“Tonight is special because it is the 30th anniversary of the hospice and I know Charles (Amoah, hospice chaplain) wanted me to say thank you for your continued support of the hospice. It is really lovely to have Charles leading the service as he is coming to the end of his service at the hospice at the end of this month.
“Thank you Charles for the ministry you have given - you have served so many people in your work as hospice chaplain.”
The Rev Charles Amoah said: “I have enjoyed the support of this community while working at the hospice. I lost my mum at the end of last year so this Light up a Life service is very special to me. I ask you to remember me in your prayers as I return to Ghana to try to start a hospice there.”
Charles moved from Ghana in 2008 to join the hospice.
He added: “We have gathered here to remember and to give thanks for the lives of our loved ones who have died and we sorely miss.
“We also remember those who are being cared for and those who are offering the care and support. Many have discovered St Nicholas Hospice Care as a beacon of light that shines in their darkness when dealing with illness and death. We pray for all who experience such darkness, that through the Hospice their lives may be lit up once more.”
Readings were given by hospice volunteer chaplains the Rev Sue Nutt and the Rev Mark Hunt, carols were sung and a candle of remembrance was lit by hospice president Canon Richard Norburn, who founded the Hospice in 1984.
A minute’s silence in remembrance of those who have died was also observed.
Following the service members of the congregation walked in a candlelit procession to Angel Hill. There, the Salvation Army band played when carols were sung, before the names of those being remembered were read out.