The UK’s only charity dedicated to supporting and reuniting families with missing loved ones will hold a special service in December to mark their 25th anniversary and to remember all those who are missing this Christmas.
On Monday 10 December, the charity Missing People will hold its annual Carol Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, hosted by Patron Sir Trevor McDonald OBE and featuring the Missing People Choir.
The Missing People Choir is made up of singers who have experienced a loved one go missing, along with supporters of the charity. The choir will sing ‘I Miss You’, a song which saw its first performance at the charity’s Carol Service in 2014, and is due to be released by James Hawkins Music in aid of Missing People on Friday 7 December.
Speaking at the service is Bek Stratfield, a member of the Missing People Choir and mother of Finn Layland-Stratfield. Finn went missing from Tintagel, Cornwall in July of last year, aged 17. Bek said: “I want to share my story to raise awareness of my son, Finn. I know that other people in the congregation that evening will have the same feeling of hope that they will one day be reunited with their missing loved one, and the Carol Service is a chance for us to be around others who are going through similar experiences.”
Tickets are still available for the service which will also feature music by Royal Mail’s “Mail Voice Choir,” the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as readings from actor Monica Dolan and other families with missing loved ones.
Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People, said “Every 90 seconds, somebody in the UK is reported missing. Whilst most of us are enjoying what is traditionally a jolly time of year, there are thousands of families for whom Christmas is a poignant reminder of the fact that someone they love is missing from their lives. Our helpline will be open throughout the festive period to be their lifeline, and the Carol Service provides an important moment for people in the community to join together in hope and solidarity, and to think of those they are missing this Christmas.”
Tickets to the 25th anniversary event are £25 and available online at missingpeople.org.uk/carols.
Ticket proceeds and the collection will go towards the charity’s annual “Home for Christmas” campaign, which hopes to fund family support workers to be available for families like Bek’s over the festive period.
You can donate to the Missing People Home for Christmas appeal at: missingpeople.org.uk/beksappeal