An ordained married couple from Timperley who lost a child eight weeks into a pregnancy are to unveil a permanent memorial to help local people remember children lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion.
Revd Jenny and Jim Bridgman, vicars at Christ Church on Park Road in Timperley, lost their child in 2014.
A service was due to be held in the churchyard where the memorial is set, but due to coronavirus restrictions, it will now be broadcast via the Timperley Parish Facebook page.
During the short service, which goes live on Friday 9th October to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week, Jenny will lead prayers and explain who the stone is for and the purpose for setting it in the churchyard.
Those watching will be invited to take part in some suggested “symbolic activities”, including planting a snowdrop bulb at the site of the memorial stone, lighting a candle at home and addressing a letter to the child they lost.
Viewers will also be asked to bring a stone to the memorial. These will be gathered together ahead of All Souls’ Day at the beginning of November.
Jenny said: “The purpose of the service will be to convey something of the rawness of loss, and the wrestling we do with God when a beginning becomes an ending so quickly – in the words of the author, the Revd Tess Ward, we’ll use prayers that express a need ‘for God to account for what has happened.”
Speaking about their own loss, Jenny said: “It was a Sunday when I found out I’d lost the baby. We weren’t sure that there was a problem with the pregnancy, so we decided to keep the morning as normal as possible: I went to hospital whilst Jim went to church to lead services.
“It was a very difficult experience as we came to terms with the loss of a future we never got to live and the fact that so much potential had vanished.”
Despite their loss and pain, the experience opened up conversations with others in the parish who shared their own stories with the couple.
Jim added: “We were open about our experience and we soon realised that there was a lot of unresolved pain for people in our parish. It was this that started us on our journey towards creating a permanent memorial.”