Cel­e­brat­ing the hos­pices

PIL­GRIM JOUR­NEY: Drama, mu­sic and dance to mark sil­ver an­niver­sary

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FAMILY ALBUM - by Amanda Wills

HUN­DREDS of peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend a cel­e­bra­tion con­cert to mark the sil­ver an­niver­sary of the Pil­grims Hos­pices in East Kent.

The cel­e­bra­tion, which takes place in Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral on Sun­day, June 3, prom­ises to be both a joy­ful and poignant oc­ca­sion.

At its cen­tre­piece will be a liv­ing wil­low sculp­ture in the Nave of the Cathe­dral.

Chap­lain of Can­ter­bury Pil- grims Hospice, the Rev Lizzie Hopthrow, who is or­gan­is­ing the event, said that at 20ft wide and 10ft tall the sculp­ture would be the most vis­ual fo­cal point of the whole cel­e­bra­tion.

The ser­vice has been called Held on our Jour­ney and a high­light will be Our Pil­grim Jour­ney, a per­for­mance piece of drama, mu­sic and dance chart­ing the his­tory of the char­ity, which has been de­vised by lo­cal writer and di­rec­tor Ken Pickering.

A choir of 50 mem­bers of staff and vol­un­teers from all three hos­pices will also per­form, con­ducted by Mrs Hopthrow.

“Pa­tients, rel­a­tives, re­tired and cur­rent staff and vol­un­teers will all be tak­ing part in the cel­e­bra­tion,” she said.

Dur­ing the ser­vice the founder of the three hos­pices, Anne Robert­son, will light a can­dle in me­mory of ev­ery hospice pa­tient who has died over the last 25 years.

Al­though it is not a tra­di­tional church ser­vice the Dean, the Very Rev Robert Wil­lis, will preach.

Mrs Hopthrow said: “Anne Robert­son’s orig­i­nal vi­sion was to cre­ate a hospice bed within half an hour’s trav­el­ling for ev­ery­one in east Kent, and she has done that. It is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment.

“This ser­vice is a cel­e­bra­tion of all that has been achieved. I am very ex­cited and hope peo­ple will be very moved.”

The cel­e­bra­tion is free and open to all. Peo­ple don’t need tick­ets - they just need to turn up.

Doors open at 6pm. The cel­e­bra­tion starts at 6.30pm and will last about an hour and 10 min­utes.

Park­ing is avail­able for dis­abled badge hold­ers only.

Please phone Pam Collins on 01233 504100 to find out more.

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