Memorial service held for babies lost

By Joanna Fawcett-Jones @joannafj

Jessop Wing’s Annual Baby Memorial Service which celebrates the lives of babies who have died through miscarriage, still birth and prematurity was held this Sunday.

The ceremony took place at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church and is an opportunity for parents and families to meet and remember their children.

Families were invited by the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and are free to come each year to catch up with hospital staff and have their baby blessed and remembered by name.

This year the church was full to capacity with many families having to stand in the doorway and sit on the floor.

Hospital Chaplain Mark Newitt, 39, has worked at the hospital for 10 years and led the service: “Sometimes people come once or twice and then there are people that have been coming over a number of years.

Everyone grieves differently and people use the service in different ways.”

Crissy English spoke about her son Benedict who died from an infection after being born nine weeks early: “He had just turned a week old when he died in our arms surrounded by love.

“Time stood still and I was waiting for someone to explain what they were going to try next when it dawned on us that nothing could be done.

“I can remember everyone in that room was fighting their own tears back for us – this wasn’t supposed to happen and everyone was completely shocked.

We miss Benedict more than I can tell you and the feeling of loss is beyond horrible and at times completely uncontrollable – it will never go.”

Families were invited to the front of the church to place a leaf that represented their child on a branch and exchange it for an acorn to take home as an act of remembrance.

The service ended with prayers and a collection with donations being split between future Baby Memorial Services and Action Medical Research.

Mark Newitt explained why he believes the memorial service is so important.

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