500 gather for St Luke’s belated Festival of Light

St Lukes Hospice Festival of Light switch on goes ahead after being postponed due to snow and ice before Christmas

St Lukes Hospice Festival of Light switch on goes ahead after being postponed due to snow and ice before Christmas

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CHRISTMAS may be a distant memory for some but not at St Luke’s Hospice…

Around 500 people turned up for a belated Festival of Light on Sunday night after the original ceremony scheduled for December 5 was postponed because of snow.

Up to 2,000 people usually attend the switch-on of the tiny lights in the grounds of the hospice in Little Common Lane, Whirlow, each dedicated to the memory of a loved one. The grounds were still lit up over Christmas and New Year before falling dark, as usual, on Twelfth Night.

Sunday’s ceremony saw them switched on again, by Radio Sheffield presenter Paulette Edwards and day patient Elsie Taylor, and they are staying on until Saturday.

Organisers were delighted with the turnout so long after Christmas – and they can reflect on a record £41,000 raised for the hospice as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Instead of the usual Christmas Carols, visitors joined Holymoorside Brass Band and soloist Jessica Park in singing Joy to the World, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer.

St Luke’s staff and volunteers served mince pies, soup, mulled wine, tea and coffee. A spokesman said the ceremony was “moving, colourful and lively”.

St Luke’s holds a sponsored ‘Starlight Walk’ from Endcliffe Park to Forge Dam and back on Saturday, May 21, starting at 8.45pm. There will be entertainment in the park from 6pm.

PHOTOGRAPH: STEVE ELLIS