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Florence Nightingale remembered

Thursday, 10th May 2018

Florence Nightingale remembered

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, attended a Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 9th May 2018.

The service is held annually to celebrate nursing and midwifery and all staff, both qualified and unqualified, working in these services.

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.

Professor Jean White CBE, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, read Isaiah 43: 1-4; and Professor Bridie Kent, Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth, read St Matthew 25: 31-40.

The Address was given by Sister Frances Dominica ASSP DL.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist, and said by: Simon Messent, Director, Alexandra (provider of nurses' uniforms); Ursula Ward, Chief Executive, The Florence Nightingale Foundation; Vivienne Birch, Director of Quality and Compliance, Bupa; and the Venerable David Stanton, Canon in Residence.

The service included the Procession of the Roll of Honour, borne in silence, which was carried by Corporal Zoe Wark RN(A) PMRAFNS (RAF), escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey by Joanna Poole, Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar, and escorted by student nurses and midwives from the University of Plymouth.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist. The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, and before the service by Benjamin Cunningham, Organ Scholar.

Order of Service for a Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale (PDF, 173KB)

It’s a privilege to live and work here – the Abbey really is the heart of the country and its history.

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Martin - The Dean’s Verger

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