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Phyllis Tuckwell’s Poignant Service Remembers Loved Ones This Christmas

Published on: 22 Dec, 2023
Updated on: 21 Dec, 2023

Hospice care charity Phyllis Tuckwell held its annual Light up a Life service earlier this month, with hundreds of people gathering outside Guildford Cathedral to remember loved ones who have died.

Guildford Cathedral lit up for Phyllis Tuckwell’s Light Up A Life service.

Light up a Life is held every year in the lead up to Christmas, and offers comfort and support to those whose loved ones have died.

The charity reports the service was led by the Revd Dr Jill Thornton and the Revd Gerard Mee, with readings from the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, and the Deputy Mayor of Guildford, Sallie Barker, with carols led by the Farnham Brass Band.

The image of a Christmas tree was projected on to the front of the cathedral, and during the service the lights on the tree were switched on, in memory of those who have died.

Anyone who wanted to, could make a dedication in memory of their loved one. Their loved one’s name was projected onto the front of the cathedral after the service, until 10.30pm that evening, and was printed in the order of service, which was given out that evening and published on Phyllis Tuckwell’s website.

Maria Abellan, the patient, family and carer support team manager at Phyllis Tuckwell, said: “We hope that this poignant service gave comfort and support to those who are missing a loved one this Christmas.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped to make this evening so special: Right at Home for sponsoring Light up a Life 2023, Guildford Cathedral for hosting the event, Farnham Brass Band for leading the carols, Waitrose and Partners for providing the mince pies, Seasons Café for opening through the evening, and of course our fabulous volunteers for all their help on the night. Thanks also to everyone who came along or watched the service online.”

If you were unable to attend the service, you can watch a recording of it at

All of the generous donations which were made by people remembering loved ones through dedications will go directly towards helping Phyllis Tuckwell continue providing its specialist supportive and end of life care to its patients and their families.

Every day it supports more than 250 patients, relatives and carers, through medical and nursing care, therapies, counselling, social work advice and practical support.

However, as the NHS / Government usually only covers about 20% of its costs, it has to raise more than £25,000 a day to do this, and so is hugely grateful for the support and generosity of the local community.

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