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Christmas tree decorating with the Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted on Wednesday 11th December 2019
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, with a family next to a large Christmas tree in Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury with an Evelina London patient and their mother

Three patients from Evelina London helped the Archbishop of Canterbury decorate a Christmas tree at Lambeth Palace.

Archbishop and treeSeveral children being treated at Evelina London have added handmade decorations to the 8ft Christmas tree at Lambeth Palace. The patients included Kai Carding, aged 1 from Bromley, and his mum, Mei. Kai is a complex respiratory patient born with oesophageal atresia and a trachea-oesophageal fistua, a condition where the food pipe is not connected to the stomach and the wind pipe is connected to the food pipe. They have attended our hospital regularly since Kai’s birth.

Mei said: “We have been staying at Ronald McDonald House since January now, so it is wonderful to get involved in a festive activity such as this. We feel very privileged to have met the Archbishop and be welcomed into the Palace to help decorate.”

Our Ronald McDonald House is next door to Lambeth Palace. It has 59 en-suite bedrooms and provides a 'home away from home' for families whose children are being cared for in Evelina London.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “Having the children here to help decorate the Christmas tree is a special annual event and a wonderful part of the Advent journey. We’re grateful to the children who helped and pray for them and everyone at Evelina London this Christmas time.”

After decorating the tree, the children were taken on a tour of the Palace and its gardens, where they took a look inside the crypt, the chapel and even got to sit in a seat that’s been used by the Queen on visits to the Palace.

Cruz Brown, aged 5, attended with his mum, Debbie, and chimed the gong in the State Drawing Room, which historically was used when meals were ready.

tree decoratingDebbie said: “Cruz has been very excited to attend the Palace all week and insisted he wore his Christmas jumper for the occasion. It’s lovely to be able to take part in such a fun festive event before we go back to the hospital for his dialysis, which he needs three times per week.”