The Dedication of a Cherry Tree
For Beloved Grace
29th November 2009

Carol’s Words

As Christmas gets closer, being without Grace seems an impossible reality. Each of us in the family will have to face it and I know we will all try to celebrate, but we will all remember that Christmas was the most important time of the year for Grace. She was absolutely bursting with joy and fun, still writing to Father Christmas while, at the same time, being more than usually aware of the meaning of Christmas. Everyone will miss her decorating our church and reading at the Lower Swell Carol Service.

Meanwhile, we are comforted to know that Teddies cares so much. Today we are planting a tree in Grace’s memory and we are thankful. We have chosen a cherry tree called Sunburst. An apt name for Grace. Every year since leaving Bangalore, Grace has had a cherry stone spitting competition on her birthday, so planting a cherry tree, which blossoms in April and then has luscious big cherries around her birthday in the summer, seems a perfect way to remember her.


The Ship

Read by William


A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon

and someone at my side says She is gone. Gone where?

Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her.

Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout - Here she comes!

That is what dying is. An horizon and just the limit of our sight.

Lift us up O Lord, that we may see further.



Read by Jasper


Time is too slow for those who wait

Too swift for those who fear

Too long for those who grieve

Too short for those who rejoice

But, for those who love –

Time is eternity.



She is not Gone

Read by Robert


She is not gone,

who leaves us this great heritage of remembering joy.


She still lives in our hearts,

in the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.


She still breathes,

in the lingering fragrance, windblown, from her favourite flowers.


She still smiles in the moonlight's silver,

and laughs in the sunlight's sparkling gold.


She still speaks in the echoes of words we've heard her say

again and again.


She still moves in the rhythm of waving grasses,

in the dance of the tossing branches.


She is not gone;

her memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.


She is not apart from us, but part of us,

For love is eternal, and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.

Romans Chapter 8

Read by Ruairi Binning, a Head Sacristan and friend of Grace.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Rev Kerr:

Lord God, we have come here today to remember our beloved Grace, to thank you for the many beautiful ways in which she touched our lives, to entrust her into your loving arms.  In our reading, Lord, you remind us that nothing can separate us from your love (through Jesus Christ our Lord);  help us to trust in your promise that Grace is with you, and help each of of us today – who feels the pain of Grace’s absence – also to know the deep peace and hope and comfort that you can give.  We pray particularly for the Hadman family as we approach Christmas;  may their sadness of shared Christmases lost in the future be lightened by the joy of shared Christmases past.  Give them strength in difficult days ahead.

We will now observe two minutes silence in which we remember and honour Grace – a favourite memory, a characteristic, a moment.  The family have requested that you might share these thoughts with them by recording them in the book of memories after the dedication in the dining hall.