The Bishop of London is set to lead an online church service on Sunday with the aim of celebrating nurses and healthcare workers that have sacrificed so much during this coronavirus pandemic.
Bishop Sarah Mullally — the most senior female bishop in the Church of England and herself a former Chief Nursing Officer for England — will lead the service, while current Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May will read from the gospel of John.
Bishop Sarah will address the personal cost related to working as a healthcare provider in the NHS at this time, and will speak of the need to support them now and in the long term.
“This year is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. It would have been filled with events to celebrate their contribution to health and society,” she will say. “Instead, Covid-19 means that this year is filled with acts of compassion done by nurses and midwives, for which we are enormously grateful.
“If we are going to really celebrate nurses and midwives this year, we need to support them through the cost that they have paid, and to continue to support them when all this is over."
Bishop Sarah will speak about her two different careers – as a nurse and a priest.
“People often ask me what it is like to have had two careers, one as a nurse and one as a priest,” she will say.
“I will often respond saying that I have had one vocation, to follow Jesus Christ and to make his love and compassion known. I have sought to live my life in the service of others, like so many others do.”
Community palliative care specialist Rachel Mead and Felicia Kwaku, Associate Director of Nursing and Head of Nursing Planned Medicine at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London, will share how their Christian faith has helped them during the pandemic. “I experience God’s presence by starting the day with thanksgiving to God but also I pray for patients and staff all across the world," Kwaku will say. “I see every day as a blessing and my faith as a Christian has enabled me to cope with this unprecedented time.”
In addition, Ms Mead, a nurse with 33 years of experience, will speak of how the prayers of friends and of her church, St Peter’s in Chertsey, Surrey, have been "vital" during their battle against coronavirus.
“The prayers of faithful friends and my church community have been vital in recent weeks, giving me peace and strength in challenging times,” she will say.