The Pause for Hope service will take place at the Metropolitan Cathedral


Professor Ray Donnelly, founder and chairman of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, shared his thoughts with ECHO ahead of the annual Pause for Thought service this weekend:

Liverpool is a remarkable place and the people of Liverpool and Merseyside are remarkable people whom I have had the privilege of serving as a surgeon for over 20 years and to whom I have been very happy to give something back by founding the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and launching the Pause for Hope service for those affected in any way by cancer.

The culture of Liverpool has many aspects and one of them is to contribute to new ideas and initiatives in many areas. Medicine, business, technology, charity, and the arts have all seen the city and region’s creative talents flourish to benefit many people locally, nationally and even in countries around the world.

A book could be written on the “firsts” made in Liverpool. It would be a very long book and maybe someone should write it, if they haven’t already. I could give a long list in my own field of medicine spanning the last 100 years and before. The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is a prime example.

Pause for Hope is one such initiative which started in Liverpool and has spread across England, Scotland and Wales with a service slated for next year in Belfast. The “Premier” service was held in St Francis Xavier Church in 1999 and the church was so full that the service was taken the following year to the Metropolitan Cathedral and every year since then has been held in Catholic or Anglican cathedrals.

It is an ecumenical service that attracts free churches and people who normally never go to church.

Birmingham, Chester, Clitheroe, Glasgow, Paisley and possibly Edinburgh will host services this year as we update after the pandemic and more are on hold until next year in South Wales, London, Bath and Bristol.

The growth of Pause for Hope has been remarkable but not surprising as it responds to a need that all people with cancer have to pray together for themselves and their families, the people who care for them and their families. home, hospital, homes and hospices and for their doctors and nurses. And we can’t forget to pray for our scientists in search of a cure for cancer.

We have already seen that what starts in Liverpool can spread everywhere and the people of Liverpool are rightly very proud of it.

This year’s service will be held in the Metropolitan Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 3, when people can find hope and comfort in readings, music, hymns and reflections and take the opportunity to light a candle.

Music will be provided by Billy Hui and the SingMeMerseyside Choir and the keynote speaker will be Paula Chadwick, Executive Director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. All are welcome, no tickets are required, and social distancing will be available for those who wish.

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