Doreen Savage supported the outdoor bereavement service at St Mary’s Church in Bentley, giving people a chance to contemplate and remember those who had died.
Doreen who sadly lost two children 30 years ago has helped lead a special service supporting those who have suffered bereavement.
Doreen said she knows what it feels like to lose loved ones - her children Deborah and Adam both died when they were just 20 years old. Deborah suddenly fell ill to meningitis in 1989, later passing away in hospital, while just three years later her son Adam died in a car crash on the M25.
Doreen said she wanted to help people going through a similar traumatic experience.
“I can’t explain how much it hurt,” she said, “even though it was now a long time ago, they are always in my heart and mind. The people we have lost are those that have made us what we are today - and their memories live on within us. The services have always been held in the benefice but because of Covid-19 it was decided we would do individual outside services at each church. At Bentley we have a tree of remembrance, a weeping willow in the churchyard, and we tied on wooden discs with messages to lost loved ones written on them. The discs were available at all the community spaces in the village – the pub, the shop as well as the church. People could then hang the discs on the tree, we have probably in excess of 40 discs on there now. It was a warm and comforting service, that was the idea.”
The service, held on All Saints Day, was the second to be held outside in the churchyard due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Doreen said: “We had learned a lot from last year’s service and wanted to make it even better. So this year we also had a fire pit and people gathered to say a prayer and share memories. The tree was lit up by solar lights and we gave out tea candles in glass jars to put round the base of the tree in a circle. The discs will be left hanging on the tree over Christmas, which I think is quite poignant.”