Priest in Charge of St Bees Priory Becky Gibbs invited volunteers and full time members of the Copeland emergency services to a service of thanksgiving on Sunday 16 February.
The choral evensong and thanksgiving took place in St Bees Priory on a very windy Sunday evening. Along with the local parishioners were representatives from St Bees RNLI, Whitehaven Coastguard Rescue Team, Wasdale Mountain Rescue, Cumbria Police, Community Support Officers, Cumbria Fire and Rescue, First Responders, Blood Bikes and St Johns Ambulance.
There was a change to the traditional evensong when the vicar interviewed St Bees Operations Manger Dick Beddows and a member of Wasdale Mountain Rescue. The vicar asked them to describe what they do and what motivates them to volunteer for rescue services. Representatives from Cumbria Police and Arlecdon and District First Responders read the lessons. The service continued with psalms and anthems beautifully sung by the St Bees Priory Church choir as well as hymns including Abide With Me and Eternal Father Strong to Save also known as the Navy hymn. Afterwards the congregation took the opportunity to meet various members of the emergency services whilst enjoying a buffet supplied by St Bees Priory.
There was a retiring collection towards the work of the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
This was the first time such a themed evensong has been held at the Priory and it is hoped it may become an annual event.