Huge turnout expected for Tamworth Co-op’s annual memorial service at St Editha’s Church

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at St Editha’s Church on Friday, December 7 for Tamworth Co-op’s annual Christmas memorial and carol service.

St Editha’s Church glows with hundreds of candles lit by people in memory of lost loved ones at last year’s Tamworth Co-op memorial and carol service.

St Editha’s Church glows with hundreds of candles lit by people in a silent tribute to lost loved ones at the annual Tamworth Co-op memorial and carol service.

In time-honoured tradition, the lights will be lowered and candles lit for the congregation to remember lost loved ones during a moving, silent tribute.

There will also be performances of songs by Tamworth Ladies Choir, appearing for the first time at the event, and soloist Tom Clamp. The choir’s repertoire includes the appropriately named Remember Me, while Tom will be singing Il Divo’s version of Nella Fantasia, based on the theme, Gabriel’s Oboe, from The Mission.

As in previous years, the order of service again features a Scottish piper. Jonathan Prior has been invited to play the bagpipes outside the church before the service starts at 7pm and when the lights are turned up again.

Staff from Tamworth Co-op’s funeral division, which is organising the evening, will hand out goodie bags containing candles and other gifts, as well as reading festive poems.

Reverend Alan Gordon, vicar of St Editha’s, will say a message and lead the prayers, with Tamworth Co-op chief executive Julian Coles giving the closing address.

Amanda Woodward, general manager of Tamworth Co-op’s funeral service, is due to welcome families to the evening and read one of the poems. She says the memorial event has become a key fixture in the town’s social calendar.

“Originally the service was intended to bring comfort to the recently bereaved, but it has grown in popularity over the years. Last year there was standing room only, and we anticipate the church will be packed this year too.

“It gives families the opportunity to spend some time in quiet reflection of relatives and friends who are no longer here with us. At the same time, it is a chance to celebrate Christmas with others in the magnificent setting of St Editha’s and enjoy singing carols. There is a real atmosphere of goodwill and warmth throughout the night.”

Complimentary mulled wine, orange juice and mince pies will be served afterwards in St George’s Chapel. A free prize raffle to win a Christmas hamper will also be drawn, and a collection taken. This year the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.

*Herald readers are invited to hang a memorial tag on one of the Remembrance Christmas Trees on display at Tamworth Co-op’s 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.