CHESTER Cathedral will play host to a poignant annual event this month that aims to provide support to those who have experienced the profound pain of losing a baby.

October includes Baby Loss Awareness Week, and on Sunday, October 22, the annual Baby Memorial Service will take place at Chester Cathedral, commencing at 5pm.

This deeply meaningful event is dedicated to those who have endured the heart-wrenching loss of a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, cot death, or any other cause. The service is for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage, regardless of how recent or historic that loss may have been.

It offers a space for individuals and families to come together in remembrance and healing, culminating a week of raising awareness about this often overlooked aspect of grief.

All are welcome to attend, and there is no need to register. The event is organised by the Chester Miscarriage Support Group, John Kingsley hospital chaplain at the Countess of Chester Hospital and Chester Cathedral.

For Dan Thomas and his wife Zoe, this will be their first time attending the service. The couple have experienced a series of heart-wrenching losses over the past two years.

Their journey through baby loss included a traumatic ectopic pregnancy that required life-saving surgery and a molar pregnancy, forcing them to put their plans for a family temporarily on hold.

While the emotional and physical toll of miscarriage is most acutely felt by women, it's essential to acknowledge that the perspective of men is often overlooked. Dan has decided to share their story in the hope of highlighting that men often find themselves deflecting the emotional side of loss in a bid to support their partners and remain strong.

Dan said: “For any couple who are trying to conceive, you have a baby the moment you see those two blue lines, and I think that’s one of the hardest things for people who’ve never experienced a loss to completely understand.

"Regardless of when a pregnancy has ended, you’ve lost a baby and I found it incredibly difficult to articulate my feelings. The devastation of our losses was overwhelming. I wanted to be a rock for her, but inside, I was shattered."

Men may not experience the physical aspects of a miscarriage, but they are far from immune to its profound emotional and mental impact.

Guilt can weigh heavily on them, stemming from an inability to fully comprehend the physical suffering their partners endure. Many of them grapple with feelings of helplessness, not knowing how best to support their partners during this trying time.

"The emotional rollercoaster of miscarriage was a struggle for me," Dan added. "I was constantly torn between the need to be strong and supportive for my wife while crumbling under the weight of my own distress and pain."

The couple's personal journey through loss has been marked by trauma and heartache, but it has also been infused with hope.

After multiple attempts, they have finally achieved success through IVF treatment and are currently 16 weeks into their pregnancy. But the joy of this pregnancy is tempered by the unique challenges of navigating the emotional landscape after loss.

Attending the Chester Miscarriage Support Group was a turning point for both of them, particularly Dan. They discovered that they weren't alone in their grief.

Dan said: "I was hesitant at first, but knowing there were others who shared this pain made it easier to open up. Especially during those first few meetings when I wasn’t sure whether talking about everything and bringing it all to the surface was really going to help.

On attending the service, Dan said: “In a strange way, I think I am looking forward to it now. During the service, our babies’ names will be read aloud. It will be an incredibly powerful and emotional moment.

"Lighting a candle as a sign of hope for the future feels like a small but significant step toward healing.”

Chester Cathedral.

Chester Cathedral.

Organisers say that the service provides a sympathetic and supportive atmosphere, and the positive feedback they've received speaks to its impact over the years.

The Chester Miscarriage Support Group has been running for over 32 years, offering a safe and welcoming space for individuals to share their experiences, gain support, and find solace.

"There's an undeniable sense of relief in knowing that you're not alone in your grief," Dan added. "Talking about losing our babies with others who have experienced a miscarriage has been incredibly therapeutic."

Additionally, the group has established a baby memorial garden at Blacon Crematorium, a serene place where large headstones serve as a poignant reminder of the babies they've lost.

Dan said: "Having a place to go and sit, to reflect and remember, has been comforting.

"When you've had a miscarriage, it can feel like a final, unacknowledged chapter. Adding our babies’ names to a headstone made our loss more tangible and validated our babies existence."

In times of profound loss, it's crucial to remember that support is readily available. For those seeking more information about the services provided by the Chester Miscarriage Support Group, visit or email Karen