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Road deaths to be commemorated at service

Thursday 08 November 2012, 2:51pm

People who have lost family members and friends in road collisions in Thames Valley will commemorate their lives at a multi-faith service.

The service, organised by Thames Valley Police, will be held on Sunday 18 November at St Mary the Virgin Church in Thame at 3pm.

The memorial service is an opportunity for the emergency services to come together with members of the public who have lost loved ones to remember those that have died on the region’s roads, or in road collisions elsewhere.

Police officers, fire and rescue workers, paramedics, ambulance technicians and hospital staff will give readings and prayers from different religions during the service. Family members will be invited to take part in an act of commemoration during the service.

The service will be led by David Wilbraham, Force Chaplain of Thames Valley Police. Monsignor Anthony Wilcox, representing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, will lead the Act of Commemoration.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “The Road Death Memorial Service is always very moving but I know that it also provides a great comfort for those family and friends who have lost loved ones in road traffic collisions.

“We have always held the service in Thame Parish Church, which is a lovely old and peaceful building where the bereaved can spend some special time treasuring memories and finding the strength to move forward. The service brings together all the emergency services and many families from across the area and it is our way in the Thames Valley of marking the United Nations Day of Remembrance.”

Supt Chris Brown, head of Roads Policing, said: “The Road Death Memorial Service is held on the third Sunday of November each year in recognition of the tragic loss of life on our roads as part of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

“In 2011 (Jan – Dec), 73 people were killed on the roads of Thames Valley and the effect of these collisions is felt by many hundreds of people. We aim to offer support to the families of those who have been killed and we organise this service to mark this very important day.”

Force Chaplain, David Wilbraham, said: “The third Sunday of November is set aside by the United Nations as a special day of remembrance for victims of road death.

“However, while clearly a global issue, the death of someone on the roads is intensely personal and impacts greatly on their families and friends. This service provides a safe, supportive place for those affected to come together to remember and commemorate their individual loss.

“For some, this service has become an annual event; we welcome them and extend the invitation to others whose lives have been affected by death on the roads to join us.”

This is the seventh year that the service has taken place, and it is believed to be the only service of its kind in the UK organised by a police force.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, and can reserve a space by contacting Elizabeth Richardson on 01189 231802 or, alternatively, email Elizabeth Richardson.

Ends

Press Bureau
(01865) 846699

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