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Sponsor a light

09 January 2015

THE ancient Holy Cross, Woodchurch, in the diocese of Chester, is surrounded by a large estate of mainly social housing. There is still a tradition of family loyalty to the church, which has a large demand for the occasional offices, and the Rector, Canon Anne Davis, and her PCC wanted to find ways to build on the community links.

The parish administrator came up with the idea of a Tree of Light, on which people could sponsor a light in memory of someone they had loved. As the church stands at the highest point in the parish, and has several trees in the churchyard, they chose the highest one, which would be visible from as many places in the parish as possible. A great deal of hard work followed.

They expected only a modest response, hoping that, if it became an annual event, it would build up through the years; but when it came to Advent Sunday, and a simple service with the switching on of the lights, Canon Davis found that they had struck a chord with the community. Those responsible were amazed and delighted when about 350 people crowded into the candlelit church, with standing-room only at the back.

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