The Rainbow Tree
Every year, on a Sunday near Christmas, our church holds a service of memorial and remembrance to which those who have been bereaved are invited. It is called the Rainbow Service - the rainbow being a Biblical sign of promise and hope.
During the service we invite those attending to tie a coloured ribbon to the bare branches of a tree in memory of someone, or more than one, person they wish to remember, and to take another ribbon (or ribbons) home with them. What started out as a lifeless, bare tree is turned into a riot of coloured ribbons, each one remembering someone special.
The Rainbow Tree, as we now call it, remains in church all through the winter months and people attending the church can add ribbons as they wish. On the following Easter Day all the ribbons are removed, ironed and then used to make bookmarks, keyrings, decorative cushion-covers, etc. which are either used in the church sanctuary or given to other bereaved families.
It is a fairly intense service to take part in, but it brings a lot of comfort to many who attend. This picture is of the Rainbow Tree in church as it looked at the end of this year's service on Sunday afternoon.