Hundreds take part in breathtaking Torchlight Procession

23rd November 2022

Group of people with lit torches at night

Yesterday, Tuesday 22nd November, hundreds of people came together in the historic uphill area of Lincoln for the annual St Barnabas Hospice Light up a Life – Torchlight Procession, in remembrance of loved ones.

The Procession was led by the RAF Waddington Pipe band, with people of all ages following whilst holding flaming torches and light-up lanterns. Together, they walked the route from Clayton’s Sports Grounds to Lincoln Cathedral, creating a beautiful atmosphere that saw many supporters feeling visibly emotional as they paid tribute to those no longer with us.

As is tradition for the Procession, a brief stop took place at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit on Nettleham Road, where a lone piper started a moving rendition of Amazing Grace before being joined in by the rest of the band. Patients, staff, and volunteers at the Inpatient Unit were able to enjoy this emotive display from the comfort of the recently refurbished Hospice building.

Once the Procession arrived at the Lincoln Cathedral several representatives of St Barnabas Hospice, delivered short speeches. Chief Executive Chris Wheway said: “This is my eighth year, and it never ceases to be such an amazing, powerful experience.

“I was thinking of the statement ‘the price of love is grief’ and it’s an honour that you would share that with us. By coming together, as a community we are standing tall and we are standing with the people we have lost. They never leave us, they are always with us, in our hearts and in every part of our life.

“We are honoured to serve you and be with you when you are at your most vulnerable. We believe that good palliative care is a human right and I stand by that. Thank you all for tonight, for being here with us and sharing this moment.”

Attendees were able to write Messages of Love and tie them to the railings of the 30-foot Tree of Life outside Lincoln Cathedral, sending a special message to the loved ones they will never forget.

In attendance was the Lyon family from S Lyon and Son, who through St Barnabas shared their story of losing their much-loved daughter, mother, sister, and friend Sharon. Upon the Procession’s arrival, Sharon’s sister-in-law Sally Lyon brought the flaming torch forward from the crowd to the front of the Cathedral and lit the ceremonial torch that burned throughout the service.

Louise Cotton, Fundraising Officer, and project lead for the Torchlight Procession, said: “This is such a poignant event, and it has been an incredibly moving evening.

“It means a lot to the people of Lincolnshire, and us at St Barnabas, to be able to come together in remembrance and reflect on those no longer with us. Many of our supporters have been attending the Procession for years, and it’s wonderful to see them bring along their children or grandchildren.

“We encourage those who were unable to attend the Torchlight Procession to visit the Tree of Life for a moment of reflection, which will be outside the Cathedral until early January.

“We want to thank everyone who walked the Procession or supported us via Light up a Life dedications, your support really makes a difference in our mission to support people living with a life-limiting or terminal illness all across the county.”

For the past month, St Barnabas have encouraged members of the community to dedicate a light in the name of a loved one lost through their Light up a Life appeal and these dedicated lights now shine brightly on the Tree of Life.

This appeal will stay open throughout the whole festive period, with supporters receiving a personalised handwritten card, a star-shaped tree decoration and a digital tribute to share on their social media pages to spread the word about their dedication.

To dedicate a light, visit:

So far, Light up a Life has raised over £33,658, and St Barnabas thank everyone who has dedicated a light, walked in the Torchlight Procession, or donated to their cause.

Louise adds: “Each year Light up a Life is supported far beyond what we could ever imagine by individuals, the local community, businesses and organisations, for which we are forever grateful. Without this support we simply couldn’t do what we do, so thank you to all.”

With special thanks to all volunteers, runners, stewards, Doddington Hall & Gardens, Allen Signs, Lincoln Cathedral, Our Lady of Lincoln Church, City of Lincoln Council Maintenance Services, Continental Landscapes, S. Lyon & Son Haulage Ltd, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, RAF Waddington Pipe Band, TSS Events, Taylor Lindsey, Stamford Sound Hire, Bates Sound, Flying Hire Ltd, Lindum Rotary Club, Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, Annie Griffith and her Community Choirs, The Towel Hotel, Mr and Mrs N Kirk, Ruddocks, St. Mary Magdalene’s, Lincolnshire Co op, Davis Trackhire, The Subdean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral, Community 4×4 Response in Lincolnshire, SRP Hire Solutions, Kurnia Aerial Photography and Highways and Planning.



Photography by Andrew Scott, Kurnia Aerial Photography and Stuart Wilde

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