Heathfield churches offer special Christmas with Care service for those struggling during the festive season

Reverend Torhild Fikseaunet, Curate Heathfield Benefice, lighting candles at St Richard's Church, Upper Station Road, Heathfield
Reverend Torhild Fikseaunet, Curate Heathfield Benefice, lighting candles at St Richard's Church, Upper Station Road, Heathfield

A church service with a difference is being offered in the Heathfield area to support those struggling during the festive season.

The service, called Christmas with Care, has been organised by the local collective of churches known as the Heathfield Benefice and aims to accommodate people who may be struggling for a variety of reasons.

The Reverend Torhild Fikseaunet, Curate in Heathfield Benefice, said: “We want to acknowledge the fact that, for many people, Christmas isn’t necessarily the joyful, festive time that our culture insists it should be.

“There are many reasons why someone may struggle around the Christmas season: like the loss of a loved one, financial difficulties, relationships breaking down or struggling with loneliness.

“What we want to offer is a space where people can engage with the traditions of a Christmas carol service in a sensitive and gentle way, an opportunity to light candles by way of remembering a loved one or simply to reflect in the peace and calm, and absolutely no pressure to be in a festive, celebratory mood.”

The service will take place on Thursday, December 12, 6.30pm at St Richard’s Church, Upper Station Road, Heathfield.

Heathfield Benefice includes St Richard’s Church, Heathfield, All Saints’ Church in Old Heathfield and St George’s Church in Broad Oak and all will offer the new service in addition to existing services.

The Reverend Christian Mitchell, vicar of Heathfield Benefice, said: “We’re excited to be able to offer this new service for the first time this year, and I’m sure it will speak to a very real need for many people.

“Amongst all the tinsel and cheer of the festive season, I sense there are many people in our local community who find it a real struggle to engage with all the forced jollity that surrounds the run up to Christmas.”

Find out more about Heathfield Benefice and its services here.