Cumbria Crack

Service of Thanksgiving Held for Health and Care Workers

Carlisle Cathedral ‘Light of Hope’ by Stuart Walker courtesy of Discover Carlisle

A poignant service of thanksgiving for health and care services across Cumbria took place on Sunday 1st November.

A Light of Hope doused the Cathedral in blue for the service which took place on All Saints Day (organised by Carlisle City Council’s Discover Carlisle team, Carlisle Cathedral and acclaimed artist Peter Walker).

The service reflected the contribution made by all health and care workers during the ongoing COVID pandemic, and celebrated the work of those on the frontline.

A limited number of people were invited to the event, to ensure that Government guidelines and social distancing measures were adhered to. However, the service was shared via a live stream on the Cathedral’s Facebook page, and so far over 2,100 people have viewed it.

As well as remembering NHS and care staff who lost their lives, the service also celebrated the contributions made by all those who kept health and care services working, and the families supporting those staff at home.

Families of the NHS staff who sadly died attended the service at the Cathedral.

The service included contributions that represent a wide range of health and care services including poems from frontline nursing and midwifery staff, carers and mental health service users.

There was also a performance of My Heart is Blue written by resuscitation educator David Webster from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) and performed with friends for his NHS colleagues.

Daniel Sherret, assistant practitioner with the Cumberland Infirmary’s Hospital at Night team, played his bagpipes in the service, while Deputy Ward Manager Maria Heslop recited her My Day poem.

Daniel, who regularly played his bagpipes on a Thursday night during the first lockdown, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to take part in the service. The Cathedral is an amazing place.”

NCIC Midwife Hannah Taylor and student midwife Sherelle Smith recited a poem We’re In It Together.

Hannah Lurz from CNTW read two poems from mental health service users.

Chairman of Cumbria County Council Cllr Christne Bowditch read a poem on behalf of those working in the care sector. The poem was written by social worker Helen Horsley. She said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be here this evening, to read this poem on behalf of the carers.”

NHS chaplains representing a range of different faith groups from Trusts across Cumbria took part in the service.

Anna Stabler, Chief Nurse at NCIC, said: “We wanted to remember and honour the contribution of our staff who passed away and also the enormous hard work and innovation of all health and care workers in the community, in our hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, mental health services, in supported living and those carers going into people’s homes as well as those providing an emergency response. We would like to thank the community for their unwavering support.”

“We’re enormously grateful to the team at Carlisle Cathedral, and in particular The Very Reverend Mark Boyling, for making the service happen.”

The service is available to watch online, here:

Thank you to the team at Carlisle Cathedral for their support of health and care staff across Cumbria.