Hadleigh Temple Corps hosted the annual Light up a Life Service for Havens Hospice on Sunday 8th December. The band played appropriate seasonal music before Major Woodman introduced Rev Jane Guest, who led the service, and Rev Mark Meatcher, who brought the address. The near-capacity congregation joined in the singing of familiar carols, and were thrilled by the two songs in contrast brought by Hadleigh Temple Singing Company, one of which was a setting of ‘Away in a Manger’ written by YPBL Chris Carter. As the Havens Choir was unable to take part this year, a recording was played instead of a song by Ellie Goulding.
Rev Meatcher reflected on the retrospectives broadcast on television at this time of year, looking back at the events of the year, and repeats of familiar comedy sketches. Remarking that life is more than humorous moments, he spoke of those with sad memories, and in particular departed loved ones.
He then outlined five regrets of those who were dying:
1: They wished they had had the courage to live their lives true to themselves;
2: They wished they hadn’t worked too hard;
3: They wished they had been able to express their feelings better;
4: They wished they had stayed in touch with friends;
5: They wished they had let themselves be happy.
The congregation was reminded of Jesus’ assertion that He was ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’, and that He offered a peace that will never go away, after which the poem ’Did you take it with you’ was read.
The lights were dimmed, and it was very moving as candles were lit in memory of those who had passed on. The Book of Remembrance was brought forward and members of Havens staff transferred the flame from one row to the next until the whole hall glittered with flickering light. Prayer was then offered before the service closed with the lively ‘Calypso Carol’ and a benediction.
It was a great privilege to be able to share with members of our community in such a special event, and we would pray God’s blessing on all those families represented.