Tamworth Co-operative Society’s Christmas carol and memorial service, which attracts hundreds of people to St Editha’s Church each year, will take place on Friday, December 1 at 7pm.
The service, organised by the Society’s funeral division, was originally intended to bring comfort to the recently bereaved. However, it has proved so popular it is now established as a key event in the town’s Christmas calendar.
An extremely moving part of the proceedings comes when the lights are dimmed and the church is atmospherically illuminated by a sea of candle lights held aloft in memory of lost loved ones.
Scottish piper Alan Hillier will then poignantly make his way to the front of the church playing the bagpipes. The 2017 service will also see world champion town crier Ken Knowles recite A Christmas Story.
Amanda Woodward, general manager of the funeral division, said:
“This is not just a tribute to people we have lost, but also a celebration of Christmas and there is a real sense of warmth and goodwill. Afterwards people are welcome to enjoy complimentary mulled wine, orange juice and mince pies in St George’s Chapel.”
Reverend Alan Gordon, vicar of St Editha’s Church, will again lead the service. Tamworth Co-op funeral staff, including Amanda Woodward, Paul Warwick, Linda Sanderson and Sue Owen, will recite various poems.
There will also be performances by soloist Tom Clamp and the Tame Valley Learning Trust Choir. Tamworth Co-op chief executive Julian Coles will give the closing address.
Hundreds of goodie bags containing free gifts, such as candleholders, notebooks and pens, will be handed out.
A collection will be taken during the service, with the proceeds being split between St Editha’s Church and St Giles Hospice in Whittington. All guests who have been sent invitations will also be able to enter a free prize draw for a Christmas hamper.
Families are invited to hang a memorial tag on one of the Remembrance Christmas Trees on display at the Bereavement Advice Centre, next to the Co-op department store, or the main funeral home in Upper Gungate. Alternatively, call (01827) 65333 or (01827) 62094 and a member of staff will be happy to place a tag for a family.