THE façade of Hexham Abbey will be lit up in pink and blue in memory of babies who have died.

Part and parcel of the final night of national Baby Loss Awareness Week, the idea to get Hexham involved came from local mother-of-two Sarah Richardson.

While she now has a daughter, who has just started school, and a baby son, her first babies – identical twin boys who were conjoined to the extent they shared organs – were stillborn in 2012.

She has organised the light-up on Monday, October 15 as a member of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

Such is the level of comfort and support she has drawn from the charity’s Newcastle branch that she has undergone its training programme so she can counsel others.

“Baby Loss Awareness Week is supported by 60 or so charities nationwide, including Sands,” she said.

“The Abbey itself will be open from 7pm till 8pm, when people will be able to come in and light a candle.

“The idea is that when you light it, it will be burning all over the country at the same time.”

The hour will create a space for some quiet reflection and, should people want to talk, Sarah and members of the Abbey staff will be there.

Rector of Hexham, Canon Dagmar Winter, said: “Hexham Abbey is a place for the community to gather at all times and seasons, and this includes the darkest hours of life.

“Baby loss is all too often experienced alone and lighting up the Abbey for Baby Loss Awareness Week shines a helpful light in order to raise awareness.

“We hope many of those affected will feel able to come along and light a candle inside the Abbey and share, in all the sadness, some light and hope.”

“People may simply want to sit quietly, but for those who wish, Abbey staff will be on hand to listen.”

The Newcastle branch of Sands meets on the first Monday of every month, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm, in St George’s Church Hall in Jesmond.