A giant Christmas tree was projected onto the front of Guildford cathedral at Phyllis Tuckwell’s virtual light up a Life service on Monday 7th December.


On the evening of Monday 7th December, the outside of Guildford’s iconic cathedral was lit up with a giant festive Christmas tree and the names of very many special people, as local charity Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care held a Covid-secure version of its annual Light up a Life service.


The service is held every year to remember loved ones who are sadly no longer with us, and usually sees hundreds of people gather together around a huge Christmas tree, in the grounds of the charity’s Hospice in Farnham. However, with large gatherings not possible this year due to Coronavirus restrictions, an alternative was created. Phyllis Tuckwell held the service outside the cathedral, livestreaming it so that all who wanted to could watch it from the comfort and safety of their own homes.


The service included readings and prayers as usual and, in addition to these, 15 year old chorister Ruby Skilbeck, a finalist in the BBC’s Young Chorister of the Year 2020, sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Silent Night’. Instead of the usual Hospice Christmas tree, the image of a giant Christmas tree was projected onto the front of the cathedral, along with the names of all those who were being remembered this year. During the service, the tree’s lights were ‘switched on’ in memory of all those who are sadly no longer with us.

“We are really pleased that, despite Covid restrictions, we were still able to hold our special Light up a Life service, albeit in a different format to usual,” said Ruth Masters at Phyllis Tuckwell. “We estimate that around 1,000 people watched the service at home, and we hope that all those who did, took comfort in it. Huge thanks go to Guildford cathedral for hosting the event, and to Ruby for very kindly singing for us.”


The service was also recorded, so if you were not able to watch it on the day, you can view it at www.pth.org.uk/lualservice2020 and also see the list of names of those being remembered.


If you wish to, you can visit Phyllis Tuckwell’s Light up a Life website at www.pth.org.uk/lual where you can dedicate a light on their virtual night sky in memory of a loved one.