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Chaplains in front of crib at 2017 carol concert.
An evening of carols and Christmas cheer
28 December 2017

Patients, staff and visitors to St. Mary’s Hospital, part of Isle of Wight NHS Trust, enjoyed an evening of Christmas carols in the Full Circle Restaurant on the evening of Thursday 21st December which also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Trust’s Chaplaincy Service.

The evening was attended by over 100 people and was led by Senior Chaplain Rev Kelvin Burke. There were traditional readings and hymns and the NHS Nightingales choir got everybody in the Christmas spirit with their renditions of well-known festive tunes ‘Carol of the Bells’, ‘Christmas Lullaby’ (Rutter) ‘Angels Carol’, Grown Up Christmas List’ and ‘Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas’ (John Williams).   You can see the NHS Nightingales performing ‘Carol of the Bells’ at https://youtu.be/E569zTIX2mM.

A number of prayers and readings were read:

  • Opening Prayer – Rev Di Netherway, Honorary Chaplain
  • Isaiah 7:11-14 Virgin birth foretold by Isaiah – Brendan Cook, Chaplaincy Volunteer
  • Luke 2:1-7 The birth of Jesus – Matt McKeown, Deputy Head of Occupational Health
  • Luke 2:8-6 The shepherds go to the manger – Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive
  • Matthew 2:1-6 & 9-12 – The wise men are led by the star to Jesus – Sarah Johnston, Deputy Director of Nursing
  • A time of prayer – Rev Ivan Page, Trust Chaplain
  • John 1:1-5 & 9-14 St. John unfolds the mystery of the incarnation – Rev Janet Hallam, Trust Chaplain
  • Blessing – Fr Emmanuel Odoemene, Trust Chaplain

Senior Chaplain, Rev Kelvin Burke, said: “Once again I think we got the balance right between communal singing, choir performance (NHS Nightingales) and personal reflection (led by the Hospital Chaplaincy team).   There was a good mix of staff, volunteers, patients, family friends and carers present and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Carol service.”   Rev Burke continued “we were grateful to the Hospital Catering team who served mulled punch, teas coffees and mince pies afterwards.  The mingling and festive chatter continued long after the service had ended.”

The Chaplaincy Service at St. Mary’s Hospital embraces all faiths and beliefs and plays a vital role in comforting end-of-life patients and their families and supporting staff through challenging times. Over the past 25 years Chaplains and Chaplaincy volunteers have taken to the wards at St. Mary’s Hospital every day to comfort patients, reassure families and support staff, offering friendship, a listening ear and opportunities for prayer and spiritual guidance to anyone including people from other faith communities and those with no faith at all.

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “The Chaplaincy Team provides an excellent service across the Trust to those of faith and those with no faith but who simply want someone to talk to.  I was most impressed with the community support for the Carol Service and spoke to a number of people afterwards who enjoy celebrating with others at the hospital.  My thanks go to all the staff and volunteers who made the service possible and for their work over the Christmas and New Year period.”

The carols sung were:

  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Once in Royal David’s City
  • While Shepherds Watched their Flocks
  • Away in a Manger
  • Joy to the World

More information about the Trust’s Chaplaincy can be found in the Chaplaincy Annual Report at http://www.iow.nhs.uk/Publications/publications.htm.

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