Rural Support Hold Annual Service of Remembrance

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Rural Support Hold Annual Service of Remembrance

Rural Support Hold Annual Service of Remembrance

June 11, 2024 Victoria Ross

On Sunday 9th June Rural Support held their annual Service of Remembrance through its Life Beyond programme for the farming community across Northern Ireland. This event was held in partnership with Embrace FARM, in St John’s Church of Ireland, Moneymore and was compered by Peter McCann from the Irish Farmers Journal.

This commemorative event provided the congregation the opportunity to come together to pay tribute to and to honour those who have passed away within the agricultural community, be that friends, family, neighbours or loved ones.

The service was opened by Rev Dr Iain Jamieson, Rural Dean of Church of Ireland Tullyhogue, followed by an array of hymns which were led by the Farmers Choir. Several supporters from the agricultural sector also paid their respect within the ceremony by offering words of sympathy and comfort to the congregation to show how important the deceased lives have been, and how much their lives made a difference to all who had known them. Speakers included George Mullan CEO of ABP & Chairperson of the Life Beyond Sub Committee, Gyles Dawson Head of Therapeutical Services & Crisis Support at Rural Support, Victor Chestnutt Founder of Life Beyond, Kevin Doherty CEO of Rural Support and Norma Rohan Founder of Embrace FARM.

Commenting on this Service of Remembrance, CEO of Rural Support, Kevin Doherty said, “Our annual Service of Remembrance celebrates the lives of those who are no longer with us and honours the contributions they have made to the agricultural community as well as our lives. It was heartwarming to hear so many memories and stories from the loved ones who were reminiscing about those who have passed away. It was also encouraging to hear how our Life Beyond Programme has helped and supported so many different farm businesses and families across Northern Ireland. It’s a privilege to be a part of this incentive, knowing we are helping the farming community to come through their grief and move forward. I would like to extend our thanks to St John’s Church of Ireland for allowing us to use their beautiful facilities and to everyone who attended to show their support and sympathy at this commemorative event.”

A roll of honour was read out on this special occasion and long-time supporter of Rural Support, Camilla Mackey, Health & Safety Executive NI alongside Melissa Wylie, Crisis Support Co-ordinator at Rural Support, switched on the Tree of Life and this allowed participants to write a message of hope and comfort in remembrance of their loved ones. A closing prayer was made by Rev Dr Iain Jamieson, Rev Dr Sam Mawhinney and Father Aidan McCaughan; followed by ‘You are my Strength’, by the Farmers Choir.

“Holding this communal service of remembrance can foster a sense of support and coming together for one purpose such as this creates a sense of understanding and empathy, whilst reducing isolation in grief. The service that Rural Support provides through its Life Beyond programme is invaluable; supporting with both immediate and long-term matters as they arise. I’d like to thank not only the Rector and congregation of St John’s Church of Ireland, but also my fellow committee members for all of their hard work and dedication; it has been a privilege to be your chairperson,” said George Mullan, CEO of ABP and Chairperson of the Life Beyond Sub Committee.

If you were unable to attend this Service of Remembrance, you can watch the full service on the Rural Support YouTube Channel via the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WCsSjXzKyE&t=5s

If you would like to find out more about the Life Beyond programme or the range of services and programmes available at Rural Support, go to the NI Farm Support hub at www.ruralsupport.org.uk or telephone the Support Line on Freephone 0800 138 1678 available Mon-Fri 9am-9pm.

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