Emergency services praised at Norwich cathedral service

The dedication and professionalism of Norfolk's emergency services were praised last night as reflecting the truth of the Christmas story – its message of peace.

Representatives of the county's police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, coastguards and the air ambulance joined together for their annual carol service at Norwich Cathedral. They were joined by the sheriff of Norwich, Derek James.

The Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich, used his address to praise their professionalism day and night all the year round and reflected that among all the almost daily carol services at the cathedral at this time of year, this one stood out.

He told the congregation: 'There is little that is sentimental or romantic or escapist in the work of the emergency services. Your work reflects the truth of the Christmas story – bringing peace, saving people from hurting themselves, bringing order out of chaos.

'Our emergency services bring peace to troubled people and troubled situations. You probably do not use that word peace in your work, but that is what you are about. You are there when you are needed, then when the job is done you melt away. That is your kind of peacemaking.'

Traditional carols and Christmas hymns were led by the cathedral choir and Taverham Band and there was also a carol by the choir of Hillcrest Primary School from Norwich who sang a traditional Ukrainian carol called Carol of the Bells.

A collection was raised for the Matthew Project, the Norwich charity helping people with drug and alcohol problems.