Brightlingsea folk are being urged to leave a light on in their homes on Valentine's Day as a special signal of love and solidarity. The initiative is part of Brightlingsea's WinterFest and was the idea of parish vicar, the Revd Caroline Beckett.
The WinterFest music and arts festival, which is in its seventh year is running throughout February, aims to lift spirits and also promotes community spirit. This year, due to Covid restrictions, most of the festival's events are on line.
It is hoped that the Leave a Light On idea will touch people's hearts as something they can do on Valentine's Day when thoughts are particularly focused on love.
Revd Caroline said: “The past year has been a difficult time for many of us, with losses to Covid-19 and separation from loved ones. This Valentine's Day will be very different in lockdown. On a day when we think of love, but many can't be together and some are completely alone, we are encouraging everyone to take part in a gesture of love, solidarity, memory and hope.”
She added: “Often when a loved one is away, or expected home, we say we'll leave a light on for them. So, for this one night, leave a light on in the window.”
Caroline, who is vicar at All Saints' Church and St James' Church in Brightlingsea, said that when growing up in the area, she would look at All Saints' Church “lit up like a beacon” at the entrance to the town and, later on, during overnight sailing trips, orientated herself by the lights on buoys and the shoreline.
“Leaving a light on is a way of saying we're here, somebody's watching, somebody cares,” she said.
Her Leave a Light On initiative is now among more than 20 WinterFest events taking place across February. For more details visit www.brightlingseawinterfest.co.uk or see WinterFest's page on Facebook.