10 May 2012
A Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale was held at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 9 May 2012 at 6.30pm. The service, which is held annually to celebrate nursing and midwifery and all staff, both qualified and unqualified working in these services, was attended by Nurses, midwives, health visitors and government ministers.
In his Bidding, the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence, said: ‘…we thank God for Florence Nightingale, for her enterprise and heroism, and for the example she has left us. We pray that her ideals of compassion, quality of care, and training may continue to inspire and sustain nurses everywhere.’
The Address was given by The Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Carey of Clifton PC, Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2002.
Alan Gibbs, Chairman of Trustees, The Burdett Trust for Nursing, read Isaiah 55: 1-3, 6-13 and Anne Milton, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Public Health), read Mark 2: 23-3, 1-6.
Prayers were led by The Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist.
During the service the British Commonwealth Nurses’ Roll of Honour was borne in silence from the Chapel of St George through the Nave to the Sacrarium by Sergeant Sarah Leonie Perkins, Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service, escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried by Research Nurse Claire Gibbs, and escorted by student nurses from Liverpool John Moores University. On arrival in the Sacrarium the Lamp was passed to Olufolakemi Tokode who passed it to Donna Barleycorn to represent the transmission of knowledge. It was then placed on the High Altar by Canon White.
The service launched the celebrations for International Nurses’ Day on 12th May.
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