The Votive Candle Stand was donated to St Helen's in memory of Joyce Webb (1917 - 2006) and is situated in the Lady Chapel
The following is an extract from the sermon preached at the blessing of the votive candle stand on 10th June 2007:
"For Christians light is a symbol of faith, it reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World and through his teachings and his life we can all be en-lightened. Jesus calls all of us to be lights in the world - in other words he expects us to live Christ-like lives so that other people are helped to know and come to love him.
If we’re to live Christ-like lives it means that we must truly and deeply care about other people so when they have special problems or worries or needs we must do our best to help them and above all to pray for them. A votive candle stand is therefore a symbol of our love for others.
Because we care we want to do something. For example if someone has died we might light a candle for them to assure them that although they now live beyond the gateway of death in God’s presence we haven’t stopped loving them and will continue to love them until we meet again. We might light a candle for those who have been left behind and are mourning the death of a loved one. We might light a candle for someone who’s very ill or shortly to go through an operation. We might light a candle for people we know who are facing danger. There are so many things we might light a candle for. And as we do so we don’t only simply light the candle we also commit ourselves to praying for that person.
More often than not our prayer will be private and perhaps highly confidential but sometimes we desperately need others to support us in our praying - that’s why there’s a small pin board behind the stand on which we can write a short note.
One final thing to say is that we mustn’t forget that prayers of thanksgiving are just as important as asking type prayers. How wonderful to light a candle and say thank you to God, for instance, if a baby has been born into our family, or someone has recovered after a period of illness, or something we’d been dreading passed without difficulty.There are so many things we can light a candle for in gratitude to God
When we leave church and get on with living out our everyday lives the candle continues to burn, symbolizing our having left our prayer and concern in God’s hands.
The candle is not a substitute for our prayer but simply an accompaniment - an ancient devotional practice in which many millions of Christians the world over have found inspiration and comfort."