Everyday Faith stories from Leicester Royal Infirmary in its 250th year

Three Christians working at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) have told us how their faith impacts their everyday work as they mark the 250th anniversary of the hospital being founded. A special service was held at Leicester Cathedral on Sunday (12 September) for staff of the hospital.

The service was led by Dean of Leicester David Montieth and included prayers, Bible readings, an LRI birthday poem by poet Rob Gee, quotes of the shared Golden Rule by hospital Chaplains representing each of the main religions, prayers from the hospital Chaplaincy lead Mark Burleigh and Cathedral Precentor Emma Davies, a sermon from Bishop Martyn and a commitment promise by the congregation to continue to serve others, helping every person in need in their work. You can read all about it and the fascinating history of the hospital and the details of the service on the Order of Service here. You can also view the service online on Leicester Cathedral's Facebook page here.

You can read about midwife Sarah Evans, critical care technician Roger Smith and operating theatre nurse Rahat Nazar below.

For the first in our series, midwife Sarah Evans from St John's Church, Hinckley, talks about her Everyday Faith as she goes about her work serving others.  

Sarah has been a midwife for more than 15 years - her entire career working at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Here she talks about how her faith sustains her and how prayer carries her through each and every day:

"It was having my own children that made me want to be a midwife and leave behind a job in retail management. I found the whole experience fascinating, from pregnancy through to birth, and was totally awestruck with how midwives supported women with such non-judgemental care.

"God was most certainly in that decision, too. It was a calling. In what could have been a nightmare juggling childcare for my two small children, finding the funding and being selected to train in such a competitive career, everything simply fell into place. God provided.  

"I think about Jesus as a servant king and I try to see myself as the servant, by loving my neighbour. When it comes to the women I care for, I treat them as I feel Jesus would. We encounter all walks of life and some women are in the most tragic of situations. I’m not their judge; I’m their advocate and there to support them.

"There’s a psychologist who has a term, ‘unconditional positive regard.’ That, for me, epitomises how I try to be, in the way I would expect Jesus to be. It’s their journey and I’m meeting them at their need.

"In church we recently talked about the Hebrew word ‘Chesed’ which means being kind and loving, showing piety and God-like love towards people. That quite literally sums up the way I see my midwifery role.

"Prayer is fundamental to my life and work. I tend to pray on my way in before every shift and covering the day with prayer makes such a big difference to me.

"Though I am unable to share my faith with patients, I am very open about it with colleagues. When we’ve had a traumatic time I’ve been asked by colleagues to pray for the day and the team.

"I try and bring God into conversations at opportune moments and festival times, and explain a little of what Jesus did for us. I often pray for colleagues and their families, even laying hands on people when they are in pain. No one has ever said no to my prayer, even when I didn’t know them to be Christians, or when they have been of other faiths.

"There are several of us at work who have come together to pray over a number of situations, all from different denominations and nations. During the height of the pandemic, we occasionally met in the stairwells.

"Prayer is so powerful. People who have passed by us during these times have commented on how brilliant and uplifting it was to witness. I love praying for others – it’s such a privilege. I can get quite excited about it, but I am gentle in how I approach people and wouldn’t offer it if I didn’t think it would be well received.  

"God sustains me throughout my days as a midwife. In the difficult times, I know that I am not alone. I believe I see things in people through the eyes of God -  that God is working through and in me - and that the love He feels for all the ladies I encounter is reflected through my care. I really cannot imagine doing my job without having God by my side.

"Being a midwife and witnessing new life coming into this world is like being involved in creation and God saying to me, ‘you can share in a bit of this’. When you think about the glory of what He creates, and then He gives you permission to do the same - it’s just overwhelming and truly a blessing."


Roger Smith, who attends St Luke's Church, Thurnby, said: "I work as a critical care equipment technician alongside clinical teams, mainly in the Neonatal Unit at athe LRI, and within a team supporting a diverse range of intensive care equipment.

"I get involved in many areas of equipment support including first line problem solving, teaching and training staff, and tidying the equipment storeroom too! I enjoy the work because I love the people I work with. They are hard-working and committed to their jobs. I spend a lot of time with the staff and have formed good friendships over the years.

"The work is challenging at times as you can imagine, seeing first the miracle of new life as well as death, seeing struggling infants and parents too. Reliance and faith in Jesus is key to everything I do. Over the years I have found Jesus is faithful, answering prayers. Jesus is with me when I have walked into difficult situations and gives me His peace and guidance in actions and words. It is encouraging to meet and pray with other Christian brothers and sisters at work where we can pray for the patients, staff needs and plans for the future of the hospital."


Rahat Nazar, worships at St Denys Church, Evington and has worked in the NHS since 2015, first at Glenfield Hospital and then transferring to the LRI. She said: "Being a theatre nurse I have always faced difficult situations but my faith in God always showed me the way out from those situations. My Christian faith helps me with self-motivation, being honest, helpful to others, taking responsibility and motivation to grow stronger.

"'Whatever you do, work heartily for the Lord and not for men' - this verse always reminds me to work with honesty and effectively which is helpful for my team and patients who we look after. When there are stressful times at work, either physical or mental, one of the Bible verses that always gives me encouragement is: 'Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed  for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my right hand.' 

"Many times during work maybe I don't remember full verses but when I come out from difficult situations I always say to my colleagues 'God  is watching and helping me.' I pray to God that He keeps His blessed hands on me to continue in my profession as a nurse and that I grow strong in my faith, Amen." 

Amen indeed. We give thanks for the work of NHS workers and thank you to Sarah, Roger and Rahat for sharing their encouraging words about their everyday faith as they serve all of us at the hospital.


First published on: 10th September 2021
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