Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People in a special service at Selby Abbey.
Families past and present who have received care from Martin House attended the service on Sunday 9th July, along with supporters and staff.
The informal, multi-faith service included art, music and performance, and was designed to reflect the rich and diverse spirituality of Martin House.
Families supported by Martin House, along with hospice representatives also lit 30 candles to represent the 30 years of hospice care for children and young people in the region.
Mark Clayton, chaplain for Martin House, said: “It was a very moving, emotional service, but there was also laughter and joy, as some of our children and young people shared their stories.
“While our services have grown and developed during the last 30 years, the ethos of Martin House hasn’t changed. Families have always been at the heart of everything we do, and we symbolised this by seating them at the centre of the abbey.”
Northern Ballet led a procession of children and their families who have taken part in their annual workshops during the service, and representatives of different faiths offered prayers. Bradford Academy School Choir also snag beautifully throughout the service.
Art workshops were also held inside the abbey to create a giant star, representing shared hopes and feelings about Martin House, which was raised at the beginning of the service.
Martin House Hospice opened in 1987 and in that time has cared for more than 2,000 children and young people with life-limiting illnesses – and their families – across West, North and East Yorkshire at its hospice in Boston Spa, in hospitals and in their own homes.
Mark added: “We are so grateful to all the children, young people and families who participated, and we hope that every person was able to take home something precious and truly Martin House from the service.”
Stewart Skilbeck, Churchwarden at Selby Abbey, said “It was a great privilege for us to host the 30 year celebration and service for Martin House Hospice. We were particularly struck by the overwhelming love so evident amongst the whole Martin House Hospice ‘family’”.
- To find out more about Martin House, visit www.martinhouse.org.uk.