Royal Star & Garter’s annual Starlight service has taken place online this year.
The service celebrates the lives of residents past and present during the Christmas season, and was held online on Sunday 6 December. The video will remain available to view on Royal Star & Garter’s website over the festive period.
Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.
Residents and relatives from the charity’s Homes, who would usually attend Starlight services in person, took part in readings and carol singing.
Starlight traditionally takes place at churches close to each of Royal Star & Garter’s Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. It is normally attended by residents, staff, volunteers and the relatives of those who have been cared for by the charity. One of the most cherished highlights is the opportunity to hang star-shaped messages to loved ones on the Christmas tree.
The pre-recorded 22-minute service features residents from across the Homes reading poems and passages, and contributions from local community groups, including schools and churches.
A special message from Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, who has been the charity’s President since 1964, acknowledges that this has been a year of many challenges, but it has also been a year that has shown us how much the country and our communities can achieve together.
Starlight was also shown to residents in the Homes, and will be repeated throughout the run-up to Christmas. The order of service means that veterans will be able to join in and sing along to hymns and carols.
Royal Star & Garter Chief Executive Andy Cole said:
“Starlight means a great deal to our charity. It allows us to remember those residents who are no longer with us at the start of the festive season. It was important that despite all the challenges posed by the pandemic, we were still able to come together virtually with the Royal Star & Garter family and local communities for this service.”
The service can be viewed at www.starandgarter.org/starlight. A lyric sheet found on the page allows people to join in with hymns and carols, while a Starlight decoration can be printed off and personalised in special tribute to a loved one.