An annual thanksgiving service, paying tribute to the outstanding work of Bedfordshire’s voluntary organisations, will this year take place ‘virtually’.
Each year in May, hundreds of people from across Bedfordshire usually join HM Lord-Lieutenant Helen Nellis to celebrate the work of the voluntary organisations in the county.
The service this year was to be held on Sunday 10 May at St Paul’s Church, Bedford and, as well as giving thanks to all the volunteers of Bedfordshire, the theme for the service was to be the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
The service, in its traditional form, cannot go ahead this year due to the COVID19 pandemic, therefore the Lord-Lieutenant will be broadcasting an online service which will be available from 9am on Friday 8 May, the anniversary of VE Day.
This virtual service will be an opportunity to remember all those who gave so much in WW2 to secure peace as well as those today who have joined together to support others through the emergency.
The virtual service, will be addressed by the Lord Bishop of St Albans with a blessing from the Bishop of Bedford and will include previously unseen video footage of the 306th Bomber Command Group based at Thurleigh, 1942-45 and the enduring friendships forged between the USA pilots and local people.
Speaking about the forthcoming service the Lord-Lieutenant, Helen Nellis said, “Each year I am delighted to hold a Service of Thanksgiving to honour the thousands of people who volunteer and who play such a significant role in building kind and cohesive communities.
“Today, volunteers in every town and village in Bedfordshire are working selflessly to look after those in need at this time of emergency. The beating heart of this county is steady and sound and grows stronger with each act of love.
“This year, my Service, which has been transferred online, will pay tribute to the 75th Anniversary of VE Day as The County of Bedfordshire remembers with gratitude the formidable generation who sacrificed so much for peace.
I hope that you will take 30 minutes out of your day at some point on Friday to watch the service so we can be together in spirit, while viewing from our own homes“.
The service will be available to view from 9am on Friday 8 May at https://youtu.be/TDmi8XFowi8