Rev Olwen Woolcock

A Service to give thanks for the National Health Service on its 72nd Anniversary

A Service to give thanks for the National Health Service on its 72nd Anniversary

A Service to give thanks for the National Health Service  on its 72nd Anniversary

#NHS72


The children and young people of the church have helped make this service. It includes interviews with two of our doctors, a poem, a talk from Olwen and a selection of music from the internet.


Click the play button to view the complete service or follow the partial transcript below (does not include the prayers or the interviews).

Welcome to this service of worship for all ages to mark the anniversary of the National Health Service.  To give thanks for the gift of the NHS to this nation and to give thanks for those who work for it and dedicate their lives to healing and serving others.

And today we especially want to recognise and give thanks for all NHS workers who served so selflessly during the pandemic, some of them sacrificing their lives through doing their duty.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this service.

HYMN Praise to the Lord the almighty the king of creation

In the name of Christ, we welcome you.
We have been called out of darkness into God’s marvellous light.
Grace and peace be with you
and also with you.

The love of God has been poured into our hearts,
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us:
we dwell in him and he lives in us.

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name:
make known his deeds among the peoples.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name:
and speak of all his marvellous works.

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty:
who was and is and is to come.

We confess our sins

The gospel calls us to turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

As we offer ourselves to him in penitence and faith,
we renew our confidence and trust in his mercy.

Lord Jesus, you heal the sick:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you forgive sinners:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you give yourself to heal us and bring us strength:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

We are forgiven

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen

The Collect

Heavenly Father,
you anointed your son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit and with power
to bring us the blessings of his kingdom.
anoint your church with the same Holy spirit
that we who share in his sufferings and victory
may bear witness to the gospel of salvation;
through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

INTERVIEWS with Dr. Sara Mann and Dr. Katharine McDevitt

HYMN: Brother sister let me serve you

READING:  Matthew 8: 1-4  Read by Maisie Smith
Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

TALK
Jesus heals the Leper. Matthew 8:1-4 Family Service Talk

If the children were here with me, I would be asking them to name the five senses.

Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Then I would play a game of guess what is in this bag by just feeling in it and closing your eyes. Using the sense of touch. You could set that up as a game to play at home later.

We experience the world- through our senses.

That’s how babies start to make sense of the world.

Babies can hear sounds in the womb, but once they are born, of the most important things they experience is touch. Being cuddled. Being touched.

Touching someone shows that they are important. It’s a sign of connection.

It’s something that we like to do, to hug, to kiss, to hold hands.

That’s why the impact of the coronavirus has been so hard for us all because we have had to be very careful who we touch outside of our close family. We have had to stop touching other people so we don’t catch the virus or pass on the virus. That feels strange to us. 

I chose this story about Jesus healing the leper because it is a story about touch. Leprosy is a disease which attacks the body so that you lose your sense of touch and you can’t feel things. You can’t feel pain or hurt and so your body gets damaged when you hurt yourself. Also, leprosy is a disease which is passed on by touch.

When Jesus lived – if you had leprosy you had to live outside the village and no-one was allowed to touch you. It was a kind of social distancing – keeping apart. Except for the people with leprosy it went on for years. It was a horrible way to live. That’s why the leper asked Jesus to heal him. Lord, if you are willing you can heal me and make me clean. What a plea from the heart.

‘I am willing’, Jesus said. And then Jesus did the most important thing he could do – he reached out and touched him. The man with leprosy was no longer untouchable because Jesus touched him. The situation was turned upside down. Instead of not touching, Jesus touched! Jesus broke the rules. It was a sign that Jesus had authority over the disease, over everything in heaven and on earth. The leprosy disappeared; the man was healed.

Jesus then told him to go to the priest so that he could certify that he was now clean – that meant he would be able to go home again and live his life again. The man needed to be healed in two ways, cleansed of his disease but also healed of his hurt about being kept away from other people. Jesus made sure all of his healing happened and he could live with his family and other people again. 

This story is very relevant today because many people in our hospitals have worked to treat people who have had the coronavirus and they have touched them too. They may have had to wear special clothes but they have still used their hands to heal, to touch and to heal. They have been willing to heal and wanted to heal – just like Jesus did.   Today we want to thank them and thank God for them.

In our service today. we are thanking God for the National Health Service We are thanking God for doctors, nurses, the people who run the wards in hospitals, the people who clean, the porters, the ambulancemen and women, the people who work in the laboratories and all the other roles in our health service. Everyone who is involved in our doctors’ surgeries and our hospitals across the land. We thank God for everyone who says ‘I am willing’.

 And so Caroline is going to read this poem to us ‘ These are the hands’.

POEM: These are the hands by Michael Rosen
read by Caroline Longlands

DECLARATION OF FAITH:

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, 
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.     Amen.

HYMN: Be still for the presence of the Lord

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

The children and young people will lead us in intercession for the NHS through pictures and prayer.

O Lord our God, accept the prayers of your people;
look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help;

for you are gracious, O lover of souls,
and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and forever
Amen    

HYMN: Give thanks with a grateful heart

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. 

Amen.

FAMILY PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we thank you for our friends, homes and families. We ask that your love may surround us, your care may protect us, and that we may know your peace at all times. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

BLESSING

The Almighty Lord, who is a strong tower for all who put their trust in him,
whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth obey,
be now and evermore your defence.
May you believe and trust that the only name under heaven
given for health and salvation is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
and the blessingof God……

HYMN: All who are thirsty

Go in the joy and peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Afterwards:  Come be with me, all you who carry heavy burdens

5 thoughts on “A Service to give thanks for the National Health Service on its 72nd Anniversary

  1. Rosemary Desforges

    Thank you so much for another beautiful service ,to all who took part, as one who worked in the NHS all my working life it was particularly special for me.

  2. Christine

    This was a wonderful way of recognising the wonderful work of the NHS. Many thanks to all who contributed.

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