Exeter Cathedral is holding a service for NHS staff and care workers this Sunday [17 October] – the Feast of St Luke, the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.
The service will offer a time of prayer and reflection for health and social care workers, following more than 21 months of coronavirus in the UK and acknowledge the continuing strain on the country’s health service.
The Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, will lead the service. He said:
“Exeter Cathedral has remained a constant presence at the heart of Devon for nearly a thousand years. It has always been a special place for the people of Devon to pray and reflect, especially when life has been challenging or traumatic. So we are looking forward to welcoming Devon’s health and care workers this weekend, to praying with and for them, recognising all that they’ve been through over the past 18 months.”
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, will preach at the service and there will be readings from the former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and Team Vicar for the Dart and Avon Mission Community, the Revd Prebendary Prof Gina Radford, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital chaplain, Simon Harrison.
The Bishop of Exeter said:
“Sunday’s service will be an important opportunity to take a moment to gather safely in prayer and reflection, and give thanks for all of Devon’s health and care workers.
“As we do this, we will bring before God the continuing, huge pressures on our health and social care settings, as well as the anticipation of further challenges from flu and further Covid outbreaks this winter.
“We hope that this service will provide a much-needed moment of respite and gratitude for our key workers in a time of ongoing crisis.”
The Service of Prayer and Reflection for the NHS and Social Care in Devon begins at 4pm on Sunday 17 October.
Advance booking is not necessary, and the size of the Cathedral allows for physically-distanced seating, and there will be hand sanitiser stations at the entrance and exit points.
Anyone unable to attend in person will be able to watch the service live on Exeter Cathedral’s Facebook page.
Below is a prayer for St Luke, written by Aidan Platten of Norwich Cathedral.