Bishop's Stortford's bereaved families and friends gather to remember their loved ones
Families and friends who have lost loved ones over the past year gathered for the Bishop’s Stortford Remembrance Service.
The commemoration in St Michael’s Church, led by the Rev Derwyn Williams, was organised by Stortford-based funeral director Daniel Robinson and Sons.
More than 250 local people gathered for the act of worship, which featured carols sung by Hillmead Primary School's choir.
They included around 30 friends of Addie Brady, the 16-year-old Herts and Essex High School student who died in February.
She was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of nine while she was a pupil at All Saints Primary School. A rare genetic condition meant that years later she went on to develop another primary cancer, a devastating brain tumour, which ultimately claimed her life.
Mum Michelle said: “I was surprised at the vast numbers of people gathered to remember lost loved ones and could only feel a huge amount of sadness as the names of those precious family members were read out.
"Hearing Addie’s name only fuelled the sadness already felt. Surrounded by Addie’s school friends was comforting, and I was grateful for all of Addie’s friends and family who joined me and can only thank them for being there with me.”
Edie Wilson, the 12-year-old Bishop’s Stortford girl who died of a rare form of brain cancer in May, was also remembered.
Mum Cate, dad Scott and brother Jacob, who run Edie’s Butterfly Appeal to raise money to fight ependymoma brain tumours in other youngsters, attended the service.
Cate said: “Christmas is such a difficult time when you’re facing it without a special loved one and it does help to know you’re not alone in having these feelings.
“The service was a very special occasion for families who have been recently bereaved in Bishop’s Stortford to come together and reflect on their loss and celebrate their loved ones’ memories at this time of the year.”
Daniel Robinson manager Scott Goody said: “It was a truly moving service and an opportunity for us to meet families again who we have cared for as they continue on their bereavement journey."
During the service, there was an opportunity to light a candle and to write a message in memory of a loved one on a memorial star for the church's Christmas tree. It was followed by refreshments in the Windhill Churches Centre.