Canon David Dadswell was asked to Bless the Tree of Life for St Barnabas Hospice. 

If you were around on Nettleham Road or the Bail last Tuesday evening, you would have been witness to over 1000 torchbearers. It was the annual St. Barnabas Hospice procession to light the tree of life outside the west end of the Cathedral. Into the distance ran a seemingly endless river of torchbearers of all ages, genders and backgrounds. The torches’ light in the cold, dark evening seemed to hold and articulate a huge range of feelings and emotions for the torchbearers. Some came to express grief at the loss of loved ones. Some came to offer support to those who were feeling pain.

Some came with a strong hope in how the care, skill and compassion of the approach St. Barnabas Hospice embodies can give all of us when faced by so many grim, anxious- making things going on in our world and in our lives. Mostly it was about love – love shared, love that makes the absence hard, but never regretted. All expressed in a hug, a tear, a heartfelt message written on a tag and hung on the barriers round the tree.

I was delighted to be a part of this event. 

Credit to photographs go to Stuart Wilde Photography Ltd.