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Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell Remembered

Wednesday, 15th May 2019

Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell Remembered

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, attended a Service to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale and to mark the centenary of the funeral of Edith Cavell at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 15th May 2019.

The service is held annually to celebrate nursing and midwifery and all staff, both qualified and unqualified, and the importance of supporting one another through challenging times.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

We come into the presence of almighty God to offer our worship, praise and thanksgiving. In particular, 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. We praise God for all those nurses who, like her, have carried the lamp of healing into the dark places of our world.
Let us prepare to hear and receive God’s holy word and to bring before God the needs of our world. Let us remember with pride the vocation we have each received, and prepare to dedicate ourselves anew to the service of all in need.

Dr Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, read Solomon 8: 6-7; and Jackie Kelly, Dean of School, School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, read St Mark 10: 35-45.

The Address was given by the Very Reverend Dr Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by: The Reverend Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian, Norwich Cathedral; Dame Yvonne Moores, Florence Nightingale Foundation; Simon Knighton, Chair, Cavell Nurses’ Trust; Kathryn Dee, Lead Nurse, Bupa UK Care Services; and the Reverend Jane Sinclair, Canon in Residence.

The service included the Procession of the Roll of Honour, borne in silence, which was carried by Private Rachel Cousins, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Joint Hospital Group (North), escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Hall, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, and escorted by student nurses and midwives from the University of Hertfordshire.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of Choristers. The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, and before the service by Alexander Hamilton, Organ Scholar.


Order of Service for A Service to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale and to mark the centenary of the funeral of Edith Cavell (PDF, 368KB)

Listen to the Address (audio file on an external website)

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