28 May 2024

NHS cathedral service to mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown

A special service is being held at Salisbury Cathedral on Tuesday (22nd March 2022) to mark the second anniversary of the start of the first national lockdown back in March 2020.

‘We Reflect’ is being held by the NHS Foundation Trust and will follow the 24-month journey through the pandemic in three stages: Lament, Thanks and Hope.

It will remember those lost during the pandemic as well as celebrate key workers, NHS staff, care workers and volunteers, and thank them for their tireless work and commitment.

The service will feature brand new short monologues written by playwright Paula B Stanic exploring the experiences of different age groups during the pandemic – a care home worker, a 70-year-old alone at home and the 15-year-old daughter of a hospital worker. The characters created by Paula may be fictional, but their experiences strike close to home.

In this excerpt from one of Paula’s monologues, the teenage girl speaks about what the past two years has meant to her:

“Lockdown’s given the earth a chance, given us a chance to see, to do more. Given me and mum a chance to stand together. Given me a chance to appreciate my dad, and his colleagues. They’re taking the true weight of COVID for everyone and carrying on, carrying us. If they can be this strong, I have to do what I can too. As we start to move to another normal I just massively appreciate how much I have.”

The part of the teenage girl will be read at the service by Isabella Peralta who is the daughter of NHS staff.

In addition, the award-winning poet Martin Figura will perform a selection of poems he wrote as Poet in Residence at Salisbury NHS Trust last year, now published as ‘My Name is Mercy’.

The collection has received glowing reviews. Writing a review in ‘The Friday Poem’ Dr Khadija Rouf, said,“My Name is Mercy is an astonishing and moving insight into the unmapped experiences of staff and patients across an intensely traumatic time.

“‘Figura has crafted a beautiful collection of compassionate and respectful poems. It was a privilege to read it.”

The service is open to all in the community and will be live-streamed by the Cathedral. The service begins at 5.30pm.

Photography by Monaya Able.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty