With The CMC Times on a hiatus, here is Canon Paul’s letter from the June edition of the Church Review.
As I write the world is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. She is known as the lady with the lamp, going around the Scutari Hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War. Florence made nursing a profession.
She arrived in Scutari in November 1853 with a group including 10 Irish Sisters of Mercy. What she found in the hospital appalled her. Over the next 18 months she fought a most successful battle to introduce hygiene re-organise the kitchens and laundries, employ soldiers as orderlies and obtain such basics as blankets. Nurses were told to wash their hands! Physical distance was placed between beds. By May 1855 mortality from cholera and typhoid had halved.
Florence was a committed Christian. Her main contribution to nursing was as a manager and organiser who did not brook opposition. After Florence returned to England, she used her new found fame to promote the ideas of nursing and sanitation. The training school she founded at St Thomas’ in London in 1860 was instrumental in establishing nursing as a profession. This was the hospital that Prime Minister Boris Johnston was treated in for Covid-19.
I am sure that Florence Nightingale would have been proud of all the work frontline staff have been doing during this pandemic. Their professionalism and dedication have been exceptional. Moreover, they have shown great courage and some have made the ultimate sacrifice for their patients. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.
Our church buildings are closed at the present but church services are continuing online at 10.00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. I would like to thank Philip, my wife Adrienne, Stella, Fern and Jenny for their help in making these video services, as well as those parishioners who are reading and taking part in the service.
At this uncertain time, we must look to the future with hope. I realise this has been a difficult period for people, both personally and financially. Some parishioners have contracted Covid-19, but I am pleased to say they have recovered.
I will be discussing with the select vestries how we might move forward, under the guidance of the State and the Archbishop and how we may begin to worship in our churches again.
God bless and stay safe,