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Life and work of Florence Nightingale commemorated

Hundreds of nurses, dignitaries and guests joined together at Westminster Abbey last night to commemorate the life and mission of Florence Nightingale. The Dean of Westminster, The Very Rev Dr John Hall officiated the service, which was moving and rousing at the same time.  

The famous Lamp was carried by Comfort Momoh MBE escorted by the University of Wales student nurses from the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education, Wrexham. Nurses who had served in the combat were also remembered as the British Commonwealth's Nurses' Roll of Honour was carried by Corporal Kirsty Whitelock, QARANC in silence from the Chapel of St George through the Nave to the Sacrarium. She was escorted by the three matrons-in-chief of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

A powerful address was delivered The Rev Dominic Fenton, lead chaplain, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, and Priest Vicar, Westminster Abbey. He spoke of the importance of patient dignity and the forward-thinking emphasis Florence Nightingale put on the patient as an individual and the individual a whole: mental wellbeing, physical health and spiritual contentment combining to create the healthy person, reminding the congregation that health is so much more than an absence of illness.

The moving service, enhanced by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir's angelic accompaniment did justice to the memory of the founder of modern nursing.

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Were you at Westminster Abbey last night? Tell us what you thought! Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am one of the student nurses chosen to escort the lamp. It was a real honour to be part of such a moving service and the feedback from other nurses was really positive. It was a welcome change being involved in a ceremony that celebrates the nursing profession, instead of being in the firing line of adverse publicity. The choirs accompaniment was indeed angelic, bringing a tear to many peoples eyes. It was an experience that will remain with me forever." - Karen Worrall, North Wales