PAPER baubles penned with memories will pay tribute to loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate Christmas with.

A community will gather outside Sobell House Hospice in Headington on Saturday, for its annual Lights of Love ceremony.

The event invites people to write a message on special decorations provided by Sobell, and hang it on the branches of a huge Christmas tree outside the hospice.

This is then illuminated with fairy lights following a speech, carols and music, after which the hospice's chaplain shares a closing message.

A digital Lights of Love tree set up on Sobell's website, for people who are unable to attend in person, has already been adorned with heartwarming messages.

One states: "2018 was the most bittersweet year yet. We love and miss you more than you will ever know. Keep on lighting up the sky for us my beautiful star."

Another adds: "We miss you every single day but even more so at Christmas - your beautiful smile outshone any Christmas lights.

"We love and miss you so very much."

One message, addressed to a 'dear husband, soulmate and best friend', carries the touching tribute: "The first day we met was the day I started living.

"Thank you for the wonderful memories we made of the amazing love and life we so happily shared.

"You were, are and always will be my everything.

"Until we are together again I'll carry you constantly in my thoughts and heart.

"I love you my darling and miss you more than words could ever express."

Previous years have seen more than one thousand messages tied to the physical tree, and last year more than 500 people turned out for the ceremony.

Anyone keen to attend can contact or 01865 867007 to request an invitation pack, which includes details about the ceremony and two tree decorations.

The event starts at the hospice's base on the Churchill Hospital site at 3.30pm, starting with an opening address from professor Bee Wee, the interim clinical lead at Sobell.

There will then be carols by Steventon Choral Society, accompanied by the Jubilee Brass Band, followed by a reading.

The hospice's music therapist Tom Crook will then perform with singer and songwriter Nikki Petherick, before the lights on the tree are turned on.

There will be a closing address from the hospice's chaplain, and attendees will also be offered mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy.

Last year the event raised more than £32,000 from donations collected during the Lights of Love campaign.