Memorial Service Gives Families Time to Remember Loved Ones

Thursday December 8, 6.30pm: Memorial service at Derby Cathedral.  You are cordially invited to attend.  

Around 600 people are expected to attend a special Service of Thanksgiving and Hope at Derby Cathedral on Thursday December 10 – organised by Derby and Ashbourne family-owned funeral directors, G. Wathall & Son Ltd.

Wathall’s hold the memorial service every year – inviting families who have lost loved ones during this and past years, as well as representatives from local churches, hospitals and nursing homes. The early evening inter-faith service will include Christmas carols, readings and finishes with the moving poem by a 13-year-old boy ‘My First Christmas in Heaven’. Families can also light a candle and hang a message of remembrance on a memory Christmas tree. Donations collected will be made to this year’s chosen charity which is The Laura Centre Derby who help local families when a child dies, or is bereaved.

Among those attending again this year is widower George Daly (73) from Chaddesden whose wife Julie died in May 2013 soon after the couple celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary. George regularly attends Wathalls’ bereavement support group Derby Dandelions which meets on the last Tuesday of every month at the Cathedral Café in Iron Gate in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter between 2pm and 4pm.

A second group has now been set up to support people who can’t attend during the day – meeting at the Markeaton Hotel in Kedleston Road between 7pm and 9pm also on the last Tuesday of every month. George, a retired fitter and welder, said: “I went to the service for the first time last year and found it a very up-lifting experience. “Christmas is obviously the time when you most miss loved ones who have died. “However, the service is not a time of mourning. I found it a lovely way of wishing Julie Happy Christmas and remembering the happy times that we had together. “I left the service feeling much more at peace and ready to move on and enjoy Christmas with the rest of the family. “I miss Julie every moment of every day but I think this years’ service will be easier and my daughter will be coming with me as I think she will find it just as positive.”

G. Wathall & Son Managing Director Helen Wathall explained: “We organised the first service in 2008 and it has grown every year with some people coming every year to remember a family member – joined by those who have been more recently bereaved. “The memorial service is an opportunity to remember their loved ones at what is an especially difficult time of year. “Every year we support a local charity at the service and expect to raise around £1,000 for The Laura Centre Derby, who have been especially helpful to my family this year following the sudden loss of my fiancé Paul in March.

For more information about the Memorial service as well as about Derby Dandelions and Grief Journey Derby programme, please call G. Wathall & Son Ltd, Tel: 01332 345268 or visit

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