Some of the images and footage in this film were taken before COVID-19
Our Chaplain Reverend Kevin Charles has joined the chaplains from two Nottinghamshire emergency services to share a message of hope this Christmas.
Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) normally hold an annual carol service at Southwell Minster, but COVID-19 has meant that plans had to change this year.
Instead, chaplains from the three services have created a short film to spread a message of triumph over adversity during this very different Christmas time.
The video also features a heart-warming Christmas reading by 11-year-old Arron Fullard and 8-year-old Imogen Fullard, whose father Ashley Fullard, is a Watch Manager at West Bridgford Fire and Police Station..
Nottinghamshire Police Chaplain, the Reverend Jo Tatum, begins with an opening message about the challenges we have all faced this year, before highlighting the courage and compassion of emergency workers throughout the pandemic.
The Reverend David Milner offers a prayer on behalf of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service before Revd Kev Charles rounds off the video with a reading and a final blessing.
The Nottinghamshire Police band has provided the festive music, but since they were unable to meet up to rehearse and play together they recorded their parts separately before editing them together into one seamless seasonal soundtrack.
EMAS Chief Executive Richard Henderson said: “Although we can’t come together for the Nottinghamshire carol concert with fire and police services this year, this message from all our chaplains helps to celebrate the hard work and dedication of colleagues in all three services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring worrying times for so many people and huge challenges for emergency services and the NHS, which is why this joint message of hope is so important.
“I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and hope you enjoy the film.”
Chief Fire Officer, John Buckley, said: “After such an unprecedented time we have all had in 2020, it is nice to have this Christmas message as a thank you and to show the public what we have all been doing.
“We want to thank all emergency service personnel for their efforts this year. We have all been business as usual during the pandemic, but we have seen our staff go above and beyond, especially for their communities. At Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service we have continued to engage with our local communities but in different ways. We have helped distribute food and medication parcels, assisted East Midlands Ambulance Service with the driving of their ambulances’ and continuing to undertake all our normal activities and duties.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The joint carol service is always a highlight of the year, when we come together and celebrate the amazing work of the three services as well as the important values of Christmas.
“This year has been a very different one for all of us and the emergency services have really been at the forefront of that. So it is fantastic that the chaplains are sending this message of hope to the people of Nottinghamshire.
“I am also glad that people will still get to hear the wonderful sounds of the police band. Their ingenuity in managing to record these ensemble pieces is a great example of how we have all had to adapt this year, and of how this will be a Christmas like no other.
“Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, I think we can all take strength from this heart-warming message as we look forward to what we hope will be a very welcome return to normal life as we move through 2021.
“Thank you to all the emergency workers, and indeed all the key workers, for their incredible efforts this year. I wish them and all of you a safe and merry Christmas.”