MHA floral tribute for 75 years

A Fanfare for the Older Person, a specially-written hymn, a display of stones painted by residents and scheme members and a stunning floral memorial were just some of the highlights of MHA’s 75th anniversary Service of Thanksgiving - you can view the photographs from the Service here

Invited guests, residents, staff and volunteers filled Derby Cathedral with joy and celebration as more than 300 people came together to mark the milestone in MHA’s history since it was set up in 1943 by the Methodist Conference.

The stirring sound of the Cathedral’s organ started the service with the world-premiere of the Fanfare for the Older Person, composed by renowned organist and friend of MHA Nigel Ogden.

The service was led by the Revd Dr Chris Swift, MHA’s Director of Chaplaincy and Spirituality. Methodist Conference Vice President, and MHA Board member, Bala Gnanapragasam led the Prayers of Thanksgiving.

Before the service started, guests were invited to add flowers to a floral tribute which formed the focus of the Act of Memorial to remember past residents, members, staff and volunteers. During the Act of Memorial, 12 poppies were added to the display, signifying the first 12 residents to be cared for by MHA at The Ryelands care home.

Methodist Conference President, the Revd Michaela A Youngson, gave the Address, speaking of the dignity, care and love that MHA shows not just its residents and members but also its staff and volunteers.

She told guests: “My hope for MHA for the next 25 – and 75 – years us that it continues to be a place where people feel at home, where people feel cared for and feel a sense of belonging, a place where God’s love is manifest.”

Derby Cathedral choir sang the hymn Remember Me O Living One, written by MHA Regional Chaplain Cliff Jackson and set to music by Auchlochan Garden Village resident David Wells.

Readers were MHA’s Chair of Trustees, John Robinson CBE, and MHA Chief Executive Sam Monaghan. Prayers were read by MHA residents, staff and volunteers with the Act of Commitment led by Revd Canon Gareth J Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Conference. The Blessing was given by the Revd Dr Elizabeth Thomson, Sub Dean and Canon Missioner at Derby Cathedral.

Music before the start of the service was from MHA’s music therapy team.

Following the service, invited guests joined MHA’s Leadership Team at the Derby head office, Epworth House, where the Revd Youngson and Mr Gnanapragasam presented MHA with a cross, engraved with the words ‘grace’ and ‘hope’. It is an image of a cross carved in rock found in a village in Sri Lanka and believed to date back to the fifth or sixth century and carved by Persian Christians.

MHA Chief Executive Sam Monaghan said: “We were delighted so many people were able to join us at the Service of Thanksgiving as we marked our 75th anniversary by celebrating all we offer older people, yet remembering all those who have gone before us.”


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