Memorial service at Sydney Opera House to support those affected by suicide

Memorial service at Sydney Opera House to support those affected by suicide

The annual Wesley Mission LifeForce Suicide Memorial Day at the Sydney Opera House offers people who have lost a loved one or friend to suicide the opportunity to come together in a spirit of comfort and hope as they remember and grieve.

This year’s service will be held on Thursday, September 13, on the northern boardwalk of the Sydney Opera House beginning at 12 noon.

“The service has been designed for people who have been affected by suicide and live in its heartbreaking aftermath, and for the community to reflect upon this serious social issue,” said the Superintendent of Wesley Mission, the Rev. Dr Keith Garner.

Wesley LifeForce is a national suicide prevention program run by Wesley Mission that educates, empowers and resources communities in a sustainable and ethical way. Almost 15,000 people have been trained through the program during the past ten years.

Speakers at the service include:

  • The Rev. Dr Keith Garner, Superintendent, Wesley Mission
  • Janine and Bernd Schramm – who lost their son to suicide
  • Katie Care-Wickham – to be interviewed by the Rev. Dr Keith Garner. Katie lost her brother, Cory, to suicide in 2001.

The event’s MC is Peter Bliss, who lost his sister, Diana Bliss, to suicide in Perth earlier this year.

Scott Lavender will perform several pieces, including the very moving hymn, Amazing Grace.

Pastor Don Walker will close the service in prayer. The symbol of peace, a dove, will be released by Mrs Carol Garner at the end of the service.

Those attending the service have the opportunity to toss a flower into Sydney Harbour in memory of their loved one or friend. This ceremony will be led by Australian actor and entertainer, Paula Duncan.

People will also have the opportunity to leave a message of love and remembrance on the Wesley LifeForce Memorial Wall. Counsellors will be present to offer support

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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