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In the first of its kind in the country, a chapel within Lincoln Cathedral has today been dedicated for members of the emergency services.
This unique space is one of a kind and offers a place where family and friends can gather, reflect and pause with quiet contemplation on the lives of those who have served with Ambulance, Police, Fire and Rescue, and the National Health Services.
The chapel itself includes four commissioned gilded panels by the Cathedral Illuminator, Toni Watts, displaying each service’s crests, placed in the four arches of the chapel, and a beautiful hand embroidered Altar Cloth by the volunteers of the Cathedral Needlework Guild. A book of remembrance has also been hand crafted to reflect the sacrifice made by members of the four services.
To mark the occasion to dedicate the chapel, representatives from each of the services, as well as other invited guests, attended the service at Lincoln Cathedral today.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “It is a great privilege to have the chapel dedicated for Emergency Service personnel who have given their lives to service. We are especially grateful to Lincoln Cathedral for setting this space aside within such a majestic and beautiful building. For the families and friends who have lost someone, it will mean a lot to be able to attend the chapel for those moments of quiet pause and reflection. It is a fitting tribute and an honour to be here with all our colleagues and friends across the emergency services.”
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Morgan, said: “It is an honour to attend this dedication service and to remember those members of the NHS, the Police service and the Fire and Rescue Service, who have served and who have sadly passed away. We cannot thank the Cathedral enough for their continuous support to the emergency services and the people of Lincolnshire. To have such a special space in this magnificent building will not only provide comfort to the friends and families of those colleagues we have lost, but it will also give them and those still serving in our emergency services and the NHS somewhere they can go for reflection. It really is a privilege to be here with so many colleagues from our emergency services and from the Cathedral.”
Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire, Mark Baxter, said: “Having a place specifically to remember all those who made the safety of others their priority, is a wonderful thing for our county. The chapel and dedication remind us of the bravery of firefighters serving in their communities and will become a focal point for reflection going forward.”
The Very Revd Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln, said: “We give thanks and glory to God as we mark a new and significant moment in our ministry and service at Lincoln Cathedral.
“The vital work of all members of the emergency services supports the daily wellbeing and security of our community, and it is an honour to be able to recognise the contribution of all who serve society in this way.
“Lincoln Cathedral has long worked closely with the ambulance, police, fire and rescue, and the National Health Services, offering pastoral support, hosting special services and supporting their vital work throughout the county. Having a dedicated chapel within the Cathedral is a tangible symbol of our thanks, and we hope that it will be a place of comfort, solace and inspiration for members of the emergency services, their family and friends.
“My thanks go to everyone that has helped in the creation of the Emergency Services chapel, and we look forward to this chapel being a being widely used as a focal point to give thanks, a source of support and as a place of peace and remembrance.”
Cllr Lindsey Cawrey, executive councillor for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Any of us who have been helped by the emergency services during our most difficult days can only have the utmost respect for what they do every working day. I hope this special place demonstrates the high regard to which we hold those dedicated individuals – both past and present.”
Lincolnshire Police Force Chaplain Rev’d Tanya Lord said: “The Golden thread running throughout today's service is based upon the Scripture from Matthews Gospel Chapter 25 verse 40 “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”. It reflects so beautifully the vocation our emergency workers have to serve, so selflessly, the people of their communities, they are quite literally Christ’s hands and feet on earth.
“My hope is that a visit to the Chapel will be an opportunity to sit in the quiet and reflect, to give thanks, to meet with God and to leave carrying with them hope for the future and a peace that passes all human understanding.”
PCC Marc Jones said: “It is a great honour, and a well-deserved one, for emergency service men and women to have a dedicated chapel at Lincolnshire’s great cathedral.
“These brave and dedicated people put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and communities and to have a place to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in a building of such importance is very fitting.
“It will also provide a vital place of quiet reflection and calm for the thousands of people who work in an environment of huge stress and pressure and will, I’m sure, prove to be critical in supporting the mental health and well-being of all emergency service staff.”
CC Chris Haward
CFO Mark Baxter
Police Lead Chaplain Tanya Lord