On Sunday 20 November 2016 representatives of the emergency services joined together with the family and friends of road traffic victims at Ripon Cathedral for the annual Oak Leaf service.
The service provides an opportunity for all the agencies who work together to prevent and reduce road deaths, to join with the families and friends of road traffic victims – to remember those who have died or been seriously injured on our roads in the past year.
The service offers a chance to remember victims and reflect on the common cause of all involved to ensure that no other families experience the devastation that losing a loved one in a collision can cause. Thanks is also given for the dedication of the emergency service personnel who tend to victims at the scene of the collision.
Speaking about the importance of the service, Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick from North Yorkshire Police said:
The service is a poignant moment where those services who work towards a common goal of reducing tragedy on our roads, join together with the friends and family of victims, to pause and reflect on the events of the year and renew our continued determination to ensure the numbers of families touched by the tragedy of road traffic collisions is reduced even further in the coming year.
The Rev’d. Canon Barry Pyke, from Ripon Cathedral said:
It was an immense privilege for Ripon Cathedral to once again host the Oak Leaf service this year. It was a truly poignant and moving event where great courage was shown by so many in such difficult circumstances. The stories we heard from both the victims of traffic accidents and the emergency services were moving and inspirational.
It is my enduring hope that Ripon Cathedral will remain a special place where we can gather as a community bound together through the shared experience of loss to remember loved ones so tragically taken from us and commend them into the safe keeping of God.