Crowds gather to remember loved ones at Festival of Light in Sheffield

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Crowds gathered in the grounds of Sheffield’s only hospice to remember loved ones at its annual Festival of Light event.

Around 1,000 attended the event at St Luke’s Hospice, which saw thousands of lights switched.

Loved ones gather year after year to remember those who have been cared for at the hospice.

Others attended the event with those currently at the hospice in Whirlow.

The Christmas lights were switched on by hospice patron and BBC Look North presenter, Harry Gration, who was joined by St Luke’s patient Rachael Rayner to push the plunger.

And in a heartfelt tribute to those whose support and generosity means the hospice can maintain its work throughout Sheffield, Harry told the crowd: “What price can you put on love? There is no price.”

Those who attended the ceremony could decorate and write messages on special candle bags, which were then placed in the garden.

The evening began with Christmas songs and carols performed by Sheffield Harmony Choir before visitors were welcomed by the hospice’s chairman of trustees, Alex Pettifer, while a prayer was led by hospice chaplain Rev Captain Mike Reeder.

St Luke’s Regular Giving and Lottery Manager, Sue Jackson, said: “The Festival of Light is a very precious time in our year and we were delighted that once again so many people chose to join us and spend time reflecting on what the hospice has meant to them and their loved ones.”

“Last year we raised a fantastic £42,000 from the Festival of Light and this year we expect to do even better as donations to the celebration continue to come in throughout the Christmas period.

“For the first time this year we also introduced the St Luke’s Memory Box, giving visitors the chance to contribute a special card remembering their loved ones.

“The Memory Box will be placed in the hospice reception all the way through to January 6 so if anybody wants to add a card and a message, they are welcome to come along at any time.”

This Sunday, December 13 at 2pm, the hospice’s annual seasonal service of remembrance is to be held at Sheffield Cathedral.