Bedford thanksgiving service goes virtual due to virus

You can watch the event online

By Bev Creagh
Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 12:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 1:00 pm

The Lord Lieutenant’s annual thanksgiving service is one of the highlights on the county calendar.

It was due to take place on Sunday (May 10) at St Paul’s Church in Bedford, a double celebration which would also commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE day.

But like so many other events, it’s had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis (left) with 306th Bomb Group Historical Association president Kevin Conant with his wife Debbie

It will go ahead instead as an online service which will be available from 9am on Friday, May 8 – the actual anniversary of VE Day.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis said: “I hope 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.”

She added: “Each year I’m delighted to honour the thousands of people who volunteer and 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 the county is steady and sound and grows stronger with each act of love.”

The virtual service will be addressed by the Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Alan Gregory Clayton Smith, with a blessing from the Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Rev Richard Atkinson.

It will include previously unseen footage of the 306th Bomber Command Group based at Thurleigh between 1942 and 1945 and the enduring friendships forged between the USA pilots and local people.

To watch the service, visit here