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Patients, staff and visitors to St Mary’s Hospital enjoyed an evening of Christmas carols in the Full Circle Restaurant last Thursday evening (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).

A number of prayers and readings were read.

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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.

“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 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.”


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