“Uplifting” Christmas service to offer hope and support to people affected by cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising team members Judith Miller and Diane Evans, who a

Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising team members Judith Miller and Diane Evans, who are inviting people to hang Christmas tree baubles in memory of loved ones as part of a lights service they have organised at St Peter's Church, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A charity fundraising team is inviting families to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost to cancer, at a Christmas lights service at St Peter's Church, Sheringham.

The event, which was held for the first time last year, was the idea of Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk committee members Diane Evans and Judith Miller, who, after attending a similar event at Norwich Cathedral and losing a close friend to cancer, wanted to do something at Christmas time to support local people affected by the disease.

Mrs Miller, who is a long-standing member of Sheringham-based support group After Breast Cancer (ABC), said the service, which is non-denominational, aimed to offer 'hope and love' to the bereaved, as well as to those living with cancer.

'Christmas is a very difficult time when you have lost someone,' she added. 'So we wanted people to be able to come along to an uplifting service and feel supported.'

Those attending will have a chance to sponsor a light on the church Christmas tree and hang bauble-shaped messages dedicated to friends and family.

The service will include carols chosen by Mrs Miller and Mrs Evans, as well as readings from north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and town mayors from Sheringham and Holt.

'It was such a success last year that, this time, we decided to open it up to the whole of north Norfolk so we are hoping that even more people will come along,' Mrs Miller said.

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Donations will go to Macmillan North Norfolk, which raises around £20,000 a year through legacies, collections and fundraising events including quizzes, raffles and cake sales.

Team members last year launched a drop-in group for people living with cancer with a £500 start-up grant from the now defunct Cromer singing group The Castaways.

Sessions, which run at St Peter's Church Hall, Sheringham on the first Wednesday of the month, offer information and friendship to anyone with experience of cancer, including patients, former patients, friends, family and work colleagues.

The Macmillan Cancer Support dedicated lights service will be held at St Peter's Church, Sheringham on December 3 at 6.30pm. Anyone wanting to sponsor a light can collect a bauble from the church. For more information, phone 01263 823578.