National celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS will begin in Wales
A fanfare of trumpets and a peal of bells will herald the special service where Prince Charles will join staff, patients, fund-raisers and volunteers for a Service of Thanksgiving at Llandaf Cathedral, Cardiff.
The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, the Dean of Llandaf The Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon and Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Services will welcome Prince Charles to the cathedral.
The majority of the multi-faith service congregation will be frontline NHS staff representing both the rich diversity of people and the wide range of skills and professions across the health service.
The First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“I am delighted that we will come together to celebrate the NHS, a health service born in Wales, in a national Service of Thanksgiving. It will be a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.”
“The service will give us an opportunity to reflect and give thanks to the many people who have delivered and supported our much loved health service over the last 70 years and those who continue to do so today.”
A guard of honour, made up of current and retired NHS staff from across Wales, will also greet Prince Charles. Among them will be Aneira Thomas, the first baby born in the NHS.
Among the performers will be the Tenovus Sing With Us Choir, Trumpeters of The Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh, Royal harpist Anne Denholm, soloist Mike Peters who is best known as the lead singer with The Alarm and readings of specially commissioned poems by former Wales national poet Gillian Clarke and Welsh language children’s poet laureate Casia Wiliam. They will be joined by the Llandaf Cathedral Choir and the Llandaf Cathedral Guild of Ringers.
Prince Charles will also present special NHS coins from the Royal Mint to primary school children from across Wales who won the NHS70 drawing competition.
The Dean of Llandaf, The Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon, who will read The Welcome at the start of the service, said:
“It will once again be an enormous joy for us to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to the Cathedral as we give thanks for the wonderful contribution The National Health Service has made to the life of the Nation.
It is particularly fitting that the Cathedral should be the setting for this service of thanksgiving, not just for NHS as an institution but also for the countless men and women who work tirelessly to treat the sick and support the health of all in our communities. The Cathedral is a place where daily through it’s worship and witness the well-being of the human family is placed into God’s protection.
It will be a special moment for us as we mark this 70th anniversary of the NHS, which owed so much to the original vision of Aneurin Bevan and those who now have its interests at heart. To hold this service in the presence of the Prince of Wales will be a particular privilege for us all.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said:
“I’ll be proud to stand alongside NHS staff from across Wales at this special celebration of our much-loved health service. We will give thanks to people at the heart of the NHS and take time to remember all those people from Wales and around the world who helped create one of our greatest national institutions, the NHS.”