Baby-loss memorial unveiled in churchyard by clergy couple who lost child


A married couple, who are both priests, and who lost a child in pregnancy, have unveiled a "baby-loss memorial" in a parish churchyard.
Two priests drink two while smiling at one another

The Revd Jenny Bridgman and her husband Jim, from Altrincham in Greater Manchester, set up the memorial at Christ Church, Timperley, where she is the vicar.

The couple, who themselves lost a child eight weeks into their pregnancy, hope the monument will help local people in remembering children lost. It is being shared to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week.

The memorial stone is shown in situ

It carries an inscription from Isaiah 49:16 reading: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

A service which took place last Friday is available to watch on YouTube.
Those taking part were encouraged to join in in different ways - from planting a snowdrop bulb at the site of the memorial stone to lighting a candle at home or addressing a letter to the child they are remembering.

Viewers were asked to bring a stone to the memorial. These will be gathered together ahead of All Souls’ Day at the beginning of November.

The ordained pair smile at the camera

Jenny and Jim lost their child in 2014. She explained: "It was a Sunday when I found out I’d lost the baby. We weren’t sure that there was a problem with the pregnancy, so we decided to keep the morning as normal as possible: I went to hospital whilst Jim went to church to lead services.

“It was a very difficult experience as we came to terms with the loss of a future we never got to live and the fact that so much potential had vanished.”

The couple wanted their memorial service to convey "something of the rawness of loss, and the wrestling we do with God when a beginning becomes an ending so quickly - in the words of the author, the Revd Tess Ward, we’ll use prayers that express a need ‘for God to account for what has happened’.”

The service was pre-recorded and is available on the Timperley Parish Facebook page throughout the week.

In future years, the couple hopes to make the memorial service an annual event.