The Florence Nightingale Annual Commemorative Service
Sunday 12th May 2019 at 10.30 am at St Margaret’s Church, East Wellow, Hampshire.
This year, for the first time, the Guild was very honoured to receive an invitation to attend this wonderful service. Elizabeth Turnbull, (Master) and Elizabeth Bardolph, (Renter Warden) were pleased to be able to accept.
In this beautiful country churchyard, stands a white marble grave, the memorial for the Nightingale family who lived at nearby Embley Park. The church was consecrated in 1215 and holds some personal items which belonged to Florence Nightingale which record her life and work.
During the service, a lighted candle – to “represent her courage and compassion” - was carried by a student nurse from the University of Southampton and placed on the altar by Revd. Chris Pettet, vicar of the parish.
The readings included The Nightingale Reading, read this year by Nightingale Nurse Elizabeth Bardolph, taken from ‘Florence Nightingale to her Nurses’, edited by Rosalind Nash and published in 1914. The book is a selection from Miss Nightingale’s addresses to the probationers and nurses of the Nightingale School at St Thomas’ Hospital. The words were most moving and still relevant to nurses today!
The sermon was taken by the Revd. Sarah Yetman, who spoke to us all about how we can “make a difference” by choosing to serve others. Again, words that spoke to all of us present.
After the service, prayers were said at the memorial and a wreath laid by Dame Yvonne Moores, Chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.
As we stood together with nurses from around the world, in the warm sunshine with the birds singing, it was a most humbling and moving occasion.
We then enjoyed a buffet lunch at the nearby village hall.
As my first event as Master to the Guild, I was proud to represent our Freemen and members.
I hope that many of you will come to the Guild weekend planned for September 2020. We hope to attend a Sunday morning church service at this beautiful church, and pay our respects to Florence Nightingale.
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