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Memorial to help those suffering loss

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Reverend Greg Ross welcomes families and individuals coping with loss this Christmas to join a service tomorrow night at the St Augustine Uniting Church.
Camera IconReverend Greg Ross welcomes families and individuals coping with loss this Christmas to join a service tomorrow night at the St Augustine Uniting Church. Credit: South Western Times/Bunbury Herald, Jon Gellweiler

People experiencing grief this Christmas season will be welcomed with open arms by the St Augustine Uniting Church and William Barrett and Sons Funeral Directors, as they offer a memorial service at the church from 7.30pm Wednesday.

The service is open to anyone missing a loved one or grieving a situation.

Music will be led by the Bunbury Catholic Diocesan Choir, as well as local musician Rosalie Pederick, who will perform a special song she wrote following the death of her mother from motor neurone disease.

Visitors will have the opportunity to display a photo of their loved one, to be handed to the funeral directors prior to the event, or light a candle.

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Each family will be gifted with a hand blown glass star ornament, created by The Melting Pot Studio in Margaret River, to be hung on the family Christmas tree as a memorial.

Reverend Greg Ross said Christmas was a difficult time for coping with loss and the service would be a safe space to mourn.

“We give away 120 ornaments every year and that is how many families are hurting,” he said.

“They are the ones who come along and find it a safe place to not have to put on the merry face at Christmas.”

Reverend Ross said there would be escape routes in case people felt overwhelmed, with counsellors and clergy “on tap” if people need to talk.

“As churches and funeral directors and people in the caring industry, we just want to say to people that death is part of life, it is not to be feared, but it is sad,” he said.

“The love we have for people doesn’t stop, it keeps going.”

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