On Sunday 11th October a new memorial stone, which has been added to the memorial garden at St. Michael and All Angels Parish Church will be dedicated during a short service at 3pm.
The new stone is a memorial to babies whose lives were cut short through miscarriage, stillbirth and who unexpectedly died in infancy. For many families who go through this devastating experience, there is often no grave or place they can go to remember, which often makes grieving even more difficult.
The PCC of St Michaels supported by Ben Lloyd Funeralcare, commissioned this stone to be added to the memorial garden so that it might be a place of comfort and remembrance to those in our community.
Sadly 1 in 4 pregnancies miscarry, 1 in 250 pregnancies end in stillbirth and 200 sudden infant deaths occur each year. This experience is sadly shared by far too many people but is often not talked about and mothers and families suffer in silence. Our hope by placing this stone in such a prominent place is that families will know there is support for them and their children are never forgotten.
Revd Calum Piper, Vicar of St Michaels said:
“Losing a loved one is always difficult, but to lose someone you have either not had the chance to meet, or are only just meeting for the first time, can be beyond words. From personal experience, in getting so caught up in the practicalities of knowing what needs to be done, marking the loss and dealing with the grief just got forgotten. As time went on, it got harder to talk about and share how I felt with others. My hope is that this new stone, not only helps people in their grief, but also creates a space for people to talk, that they might know they aren’t alone, and that they don’t need to suffer in silence. This project has been close to the hearts of my wife and I, as we seek to remember the two children we never met.”
Simon Pendlebury, Funeral Director at Ben Lloyd Funeralcare said:
‘It is truly an honour for us at Ben Lloyd to be a part of this with St Michael and All Angels. It is our solemn duty to be there for anyone who suffers a loss, but the loss of a child at any age is tragic for all concerned, and anything that we can do to help bring some comfort to those at such a sad time is a privilege. In such uncertain times as we face currently the idea of having somewhere for families to go for private reflection is comforting, and I hope that the act of erecting a memorial will help normalise any conversation and allow us all to support each other.’
You can visit the memorial garden at any time, and we are currently looking into creating a memorial book to go alongside the memorial stone.
The dedication service will be led by the Revd Jessica Piper at 3pm in the memorial garden on Sunday 11th October. This will be a short service which will include readings and prayers and will follow all the relevant social distancing guidelines. Our service coincides with National Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Should you wish to make a donation towards the cost of the stone, donations can be made to St Michael and All Angels PCC with any excess donations being given to the Tommy’s Charity.
The wording of the stone:
“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. In memory of the babies who were unable to share life with us, known and loved by God.”