Dedicate a Light on the Tree of Life in Memory of a Loved One

Dedicate a Light on the Tree of Life in Memory of a Loved One

St Barnabas Hospice announces the return of its adored Light Up a Life campaign, along with the poignant Torchlight Procession, now in its 23rd year.

Light Up a Life offers the community an opportunity to reflect and remember a loved one lost by dedicating a light, in their name, to shine brightly on the St Barnabas Tree of Life outside Lincoln Cathedral. Anyone is welcome to dedicate a light, not just those affected by hospice care.

Every year, the campaign is supported by local family businesses, including The Tower Hotel in Lincoln’s Bailgate. The continued support from the hotel and restaurant is especially poignant as the new owner, Finn Dillon, is honouring his mother, Philly, who sadly died in the Hospice earlier this year.

Finn said: “Philly’s first diagnosis of Stage 3 Breast Cancer came in 2009 when I was only 10 years old. That same year, I remember watching the St Barnabas Torchlight Procession. Although, as a young boy, I had no idea what a huge impact St Barnabas would have on our family in the future.

“Every year since her diagnosis, Philly and her team offered mulled wine and soup from The Tower Hotel to participants of the Torchlight Procession in support of the charity that would one day bring her and her family much-needed support.

“Sadly, after years of treatment, Philly’s cancer returned for a third time in 2020. The incredible care of St Barnabas allowed us one last miracle period, and we will be forever grateful. We knew she was finally safe. Her final month with us at St Barnabas provided endless moments of laughter, deep reflection, and the incredible gift of goodbye.

“I am comforted to know many people taking part in Light Up a Life may have had similar experiences to myself and my family, and we are joined together by an understanding of the incredible work St Barnabas does.”

Join Finn in dedicating a light to honour loved ones no longer with us and help the Hospice to care for more people, like Philly, in the future. To do so, please visit

On Tuesday, 21st November, from 7:30 pm, St Barnabas Hospice will be holding its touching annual Torchlight Procession, starting at Clayton Sports Ground. This unique and iconic celebration is an opportunity for the community to join the Hospice in remembering loved ones.

As the Procession starts, the Hospice will stream the event on their Facebook page for anyone unable to attend. St Barnabas will also light candles in remembrance of our loved ones and invite you to do the same at home.

The transference of light throughout the event is symbolic; a flaming torch is carried by runners from our Inpatient Unit on Nettleham Road, where the pre-event remembrance service takes place, and this torch is subsequently used to light the procession torches.

Once all torches are lit, the procession will commence, led by the RAF Waddington Pipe Band. The community will journey past the Inpatient Unit, pausing for a moment of reflection, before moving on to the Lincoln Cathedral. The event concludes with a service of celebration and reflection, where the Tree of Life will be illuminated.

The St Barnabas Tree of Life will be adorned with dedicated lights and messages of love. For a small donation, participants are welcome to write a message on the evening and tie it to the tree in memory of a loved one lost.

This year, both the Lincoln Cathedral & the Church of St Mary Magdelene will be open following the Torchlight Procession. St Barnabas staff and volunteers will be available to provide additional support and a space of reflection for participants.

Caroline Swindin, Head of Fundraising and Lottery at St Barnabas Hospice said: “Each year it is such an emotional event, seeing so many people with torches and lanterns through the streets of Lincoln joined together in remembrance of loved ones lost. The blessing at the Inpatient Unit is an incredibly moving moment that we know is important to our patients, many of whom gather outside with their families and our nurses.

“We look forward to welcoming hundreds of people from the community on the evening, including Finn and his family, who will be heading up the Procession.”

Due to crowd management, pre-registration and pre-order of lanterns and torches are required. To register for the Torchlight Procession on 21st November, visit

Registrations will close on Sunday, 19th November.

St Barnabas Hospice urges people who are unable to attend the Torchlight Procession to visit the Tree when they can for a moment of reflection for loved ones lost.

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