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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Thursday, 23 September 2010 13:27 UK
Beat eating disorders charity organises church service
Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral will host the service set up by the Norwich charity

People whose loved ones have died of an eating disorder are being invited to remember them at a dedication service at Southwark Cathedral.

Norwich-based charity Beat has organised the London service, which is believed to be the first of its kind.

The national association is staging the event on Tuesday, 28 September 2010, to mark its 21st year.

Eating disorders are the second highest cause of death in young people after cancer.

It has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with 20% of people suffering from anorexia prematurely dying from related complications which include suicide and heart problems.

Beat chief executive Susan Ringwood said she was shocked to find out about the statistics when she joined the organisation in 2002 and has been keen to hold a service for a long time.

"The service of dedication will do something positive to end the silence that surrounds the loss of a loved one to an eating disorder," she said.

"This will be an opportunity to give thanks for those lives."

People from all faiths are welcome to attend the 45-minute memorial, which will be led by Canon Ian Ainsworth-Smith MBE.

He was previously the senior chaplain at St George's Hospital in London and a psychotherapist involved in treating people with eating disorders before he retired.

Those who are unable to attend can have a candle lit in memory of a loved one by contacting the charity or leave a tribute on the Beat website.




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