Midwives from across Northern Ireland recently attended a special Choral Evensong in Belfast Cathedral, celebrating 100 years of the Midwives Act in Ireland.
Midwives Acts across the UK were the birth of a regulated profession and established standards for education and training.
Around 150 serving and retired midwives, family, friends and others connected to midwifery, attended the very happy Belfast Cathedral service.
Organised by the Royal College of Midwives, it was one of a number of events celebrating this milestone in the history of midwifery and giving thanks for midwives everywhere.
The address was given by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, and Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, read a lesson.
There was music from the Choir of Belfast Cathedral. During the service a candle was lit in memory of all Irish midwives who have died. Intercessions were led by serving and former midwives.
Those attending the service enjoyed the opportunity to browse an exhibition of memorabilia of midwifery in Ireland over the years.
Belfast Cathedral parishioner Hazel McCalister, a midwife of 40 years, was one of the organisers of the Midwives 100 service. She said that midwife means ‘with women.’ “I love the privilege of being present for new life. It is such a privileged job,” she said. [Church of Ireland Press Office/Royal College of Midwives]