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Florence Nightingale honoured at Abbey

Wednesday, 12th May 2010

Florence Nightingale honoured at Abbey

A Service to Celebrate the Life of Florence Nightingale in the centennial year of her death was held at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 12th May 2010.

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:

As we mark the centenary of the death of Florence Nightingale, we shall thank God for her enterprise, heroism and example. We praise God for all those nurses who, like her, have carried the lamp into dark places of our world, remembering those who are currently caring for the sick or injured in war zones.

The Address was given by the Most Reverend Dr Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, former Primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

Andrew Martin Smith, Trustee of the Burdett Trust for Nursing, read 1 Corinthians 13 and Lt Col Richard Martin, trustee of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, read Matthew 9: 27-end.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Michael Macey, Minor Canon of Westminster.

The service included the Procession of the Roll of Honour which was carried by Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurse Amanda Tinsley escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey by the Reverend Tom Keighley RN, a Nightingale Scholar, escorted by student nurses from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing at King’s College, London.

The service was sung by the Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by the Organist and Master of Choristers, James O’Donnell. The Choir sang an Introit specially commissioned by King’s College, London, for the centenary of Florence Nightingale’s death and composed by John Browne, the College’s composer-in-residence.

Earlier in the day 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.

See also

The Order of Service (PDF, 93 KB)

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