Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Missing at Christmas

Every two minutes someone goes missing in the UK. Many families will feel incomplete this Christmas. The Carol Service on Monday evening was in honour of those who will not be at home this Christmas, and those who miss them. 

To describe the event as moving would be a gross understatement. It was tremendously powerful, and evoked a wide range of emotions in me and, I imagine, everyone who attended. 

The Revd. Katherine Hedderly who previously presided over the first Carol Service held a year ago did a fantastic job, inviting us to reflect on the issues that missing presents for those who are left behind welcoming those with faith, no faith or some faith to join together to remember families.

Rock Choir set the scene.  'True Colours' spoke to the pain and anguish of those affected by the multiple issues that arise when someone disappears.  'Something Inside so Strong' was a testament to the resilience of those who find themselves in the awful limbo missing entails.  And Sir Trevor McDonald OBE's familiar voice provided a steadying presence in the midst of an emotionally stirring service.  

I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All the day through

In that small cafe, the park across the way
The children's carousel, 
The chestnut trees, the wishing well

I'll be seeing you 
In every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way

I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you
Words:  Hugh Thomas Morgan & Brian Andrew Leiser

I could hold back my tears no longer when Peter Boxell, having described the agony of having a teenage son missing started to sing his narrative.  Peter's son, Lee, when missing, aged 15, back in 1988. His steps have never been traced, and his whereabouts remain unknown. 

Peter's story is just one of the many hundreds Missing People are all too familiar with. The Charity is continued to supporting families for the length and breath of the missing journey. The Carol Service reminded me how I feel both proud and humbled to be involved with the work of this Charity whose inspirational mission and ethos both shone out so brightly at St. Martin's. 

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