Over 70 people gathered in Banbury’s St Mary’s Church last Sunday, October 14, to attend a special Baby Loss Awareness Week Service that brought much comfort to bereaved parents.
Organised by Oxfordshire Sands, the still birth and baby loss charity, the service is an annual event allowing parents to express thoughts about their lost children. It also aims to remove the stigma that still surrounds infant death.
Karen Hancox, chair of Oxfordshire Sands whose daughter Kayleigh was still born, read a moving poem before the floor was opened up to the congregation.
Attendee Melanie Kimberley said: “It was such a beautiful and emotional service, but very helpful to all those who have been through the loss of babies, Thank you to all involved.”
Edd Frost, of Edd Frost and Daughters Funeral Directors, shared a poem. He said: “Lovely service, with good attendance and a well written piece by Karen which resonated with many and gave much support.”
In addition candles were lit in remembrance and specially handknitted baby loss awareness ribbons were available for people to take away as a keepsake.
Judy Mansfield from Cherish Ceremonies, shared a reading, she said: “I’ve just been to the most beautiful, poignant service at St Mary’s Church in Banbury to mark Baby Loss Awareness week.
“Thank you Karen for bringing it all together for all the parents, grandparents, siblings ... You did Kayleigh and all the babies proud.“
A newly bereaved parent said: “It was lovely and gave me comfort. It was so good to be with others who have been through the same thing, to light candles in remembrance and to not feel alone.”
While a bereaved father added: “I could relate to everything Karen said - amazing - I couldn’t put all that into words myself. Thank you, it helped me so much.”
Rev. Phil Cochrane, who led the Baby Loss Awareness Week service said, “It is one of the most moving and special services we hold at St Mary’s. This is now an established and significant annual event”