Updated: Apr 25
Lighthouse Choir, will release a recording of Abide with Me on April 15 to mark the 33-year-anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The much-loved hymn had been sung by the choir's predecessor, Love and Joy Gospel Choir, at the Hillsborough Memorial service whilst the names of those who lost their lives in the tragedy, in which 97 Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed, were read out. This was done every year for 20 years after the disaster on April 15, 1989.
Lighthouse Choir recorded this song as part of a collection of songs to pay tribute to those affected by the Hillsborough disaster, including several of its members, and to offer "hope and healing" to everyone affected by loss or tragedy. The hymn has also set the scene for many sporting events, including every FA Cup final since 1927.
The two soloists on “Abide With Me” have personal connections to the disaster. Gareth Hayes survived the disaster, having been in pen 3 on the day.
Danya Rushton, 16, whose mother lost her best friend Victoria Hicks alongside her sister Sarah Hicks in the disaster, said: "Abide With Me is a very meaningful song for many people. While my initial involvement with the choir was because of its connections with Hillsborough, I think the song is for anyone that has experienced loss and is looking for a sense of strength to get through it.
"I feel extremely honoured to open the song. I sang 'Abide With Me' along with the choir at the Songs of Healing Concert in December last year which was attended by some of the Hillsborough families and it felt like the song was an integral part of the remembrance."
Proceeds will go towards the work of Liverpool Lighthouse charity to support youth and community engagement in music in the local area.
Anu said: "Many of our choir members have been recently impacted by different kinds of loss or tragedy one way or another and some were directly affected by the Hillsborough disaster. So, we wanted to use this much-loved hymn as a song of healing for ourselves and as many people throughout the nation as we can."