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Princess Alexandra Attends Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale

Thursday, 12th May 2011

Princess Alexandra Attends Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, Patron, The Florence Nightingale Foundation, attended A Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale on Wednesday 11th May 2011 at Westminster Abbey.

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

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, 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. We praise God for all those nurses who, like her, have carried the lamp of healing into the dark places of our world.

The Address was given by David Chapman, Education Development Executive, former Headmaster, Embley Park School and Principal, Hampshire Collegiate School (UCST).

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE read 1 Kings 17: 17-24 and the Reverend Angela Johnson read John 20: 19-29.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon of Westminster and Sacrist.

The service included the Procession of the Roll of Honour, borne in silence, which was carried by Corporal Anthony Williams, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey by Joanne McCormack, and escorted by student nurses from Queen’s and Ulster Universities, Belfast, and the Open University.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by the Organist and Master of Choristers, James O’Donnell. The organ was played by Robert Quinney, Sub-Organist.

In May 2010 a Chapel in the Abbey’s North Ambulatory, which since 1532 has been the chantry chapel for Abbot John Islip and since the Second World War has been dedicated to the Nurses and Midwives of the Commonwealth who gave their lives in that war, was dedicated in honour of Florence Nightingale and thus of all nurses and those in allied professions.

Order of Service (PDF, 124KB)

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