BORDERS Crematorium is issuing an open invitation for local people to visit on Tuesday December 12 to take part in its annual Christmas Carol and Memorial Service.

The festive gathering provides a valuable opportunity for families and friends to come together and remember their loved ones in the run up to Christmas, a time when people can particularly feel their losses.

READ MORE: Council's Christmas trees arrive at half expected height

The service runs between 6pm and 7pm and will include a selection of readings and popular Christmas Carols, with a choir leading the singing.

It is free to attend but those intending to attend are being asked to inform the crematorium by emailing or calling 01896 823357.

Visitors will be able to place memorial tags on a Christmas tree in memory of their loved ones and will also be able to light candles in remembrance.

Visitors will also be able to post cards, letters and messages in the crematorium’s Letters to Loved Ones memorial post box, which was installed earlier this year as another way for the bereaved to feel a connection with their loved ones.

READ MORE: More snow and ice coming to the Scottish Borders tonight

Cards and pens will be provided prior and after the service.

Borders Crematorium is part of Westerleigh Group manager Judith Emond said: “Our annual Christmas Carol and Memorial Service provides a fitting way for people to reflect and honour their loved ones during the festive season.

“For some, especially if they are quite recently bereaved, the festive period is often a time when they feel their loss more.

READ MORE: New Local Area Commander delighted to be back in Borders

“This service provides a chance for people to not only pay tribute to their loved ones but also be in the company of other people who are in a similar situation, which in itself can be a source of comfort.

“We know, from feedback we’ve had in previous years, that the service brings some solace and peace to local people at this time of year.

“Our Christmas carol service is open for anyone and everyone who lives, works or who is visiting the communities surrounding our crematorium in leading up to Christmas. Everyone is welcome.”

Those who are unable to attend on the night but wish to view the service as a live webcast should visit, enter the username ‘borders’ and the password ‘star'.

For those not able to watch it live, or those who attend but who would like to see it again, the service will be available to view online as a ‘watch again’ option, using the same details above, from Thursday 14 December, for 28 days.