FAMILY and friends of loved ones who have died gathered to remember them at a Christmas memorial service.
The service was run by the Southern Co-operative and held at The Oaks crematorium in Havant.
About 360 people were there to listen to hymns, readings and music from the Spirit in the South choir.
After the service, guests were invited to write a short message to their loved one on a gold star which they placed on a memorial Christmas tree.
Bereavement co-ordinator Gary Orchard said he was pleased with the turnout at the event.
Mr Orchard said the service was moving and memorable.
He said: ‘Regardless of the extremely windy weather on the day, the families and friends attending joined together in celebration and remembrance of their loved ones.
‘The service was opened by our crematorium manager, Roddy McGinley, and the service was assisted by local ministers who gave blessings and lit a candle of remembrance.
‘Carols were sung by all and reflective poems were also read out.
‘At the end of the service, families were invited to hang their Christmas star, which included their own written personal message, on one of the four memorial Christmas trees.
The Oaks Christmas Memorial Service provides families time during the Christmas season to reflect and remember their relatives and friends who may not be with them, but are still in their hearts.’
The service was officiated by Reverend Canon Karina Green and Reverend Carol Gully.
The Very Reverend Paul Miles-Knight who also there to lead time for personal reflection and a minute’s silence.
Guests were provided with hot drinks and mince pies to warm up, and donations were made to the disabled children’s charity, Whizz-Kidz.
The crematorium is surrounded by ancient woodland which provides a tranquil sanctuary for the bereaved.