The iconic spire of Louth’s St James’ Church has been lit up red for the first two weeks of the year to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health, in memory of Richard Madge.
Friends and family of Richard, whose funeral took place in the church last year after he lost his battle with mental ill-health, arranged for this visible tribute to mark what would have been his 30th birthday on December 31.
His family have also been raising funds for the mental health charity, SANE, and their appeal has raised more than £1,000 so far. Donations are being accepted until the end of January, and can be made at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/melissa-melin-1.
Richard’s friends and relatives gathered at St James’ on New Year’s Eve for a service in his memory, as the church lights turned red - the colour of Richard’s favourite football team, Liverpool FC.
Speaking during the ceremony, Rev Nick Brown, Rector of Louth, highlighted the importance that the Church places on the importance of mental health as part its wider call to promote good health for people in ‘mind, body and spirit’.
Rev Brown spoke of the work that is being done by the Parish of Louth to support mental health through their activities at Trinity Centre in Eastgate, and reminded those gathered that St James’ Church is open most days of the year and is a place for anyone who needs space to think and reflect.
After a short reflection and prayer, those who gathered were invited to light a candle in Richard’s memory.
Lissa Melin, a close friend of Richard’s family, said: “Thank you to all that came and supported and donated. It was a great success.”
Lissa also gave special thanks to Shane and Mark for their time with fitting the lights, and to St James’ Church for holding the ceremony and agreeing to have the church lights turned red.
• Visit www.sane.org.uk for more details about the charity.