Archbishop visits children’s hospice in Canterbury diocese
Wednesday 24th August 2016The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Demelza Hospice Care for Children in Canterbury diocese today.
Archbishop Justin Welby visited the Kent hospice, based at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, with his wife Caroline.
The Archbishop, who is a patron of the charity, was given a tour of the hospice by eight-year old Malachi Tyler, from Tunbridge Wells, who is blind and suffers from hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain).
Malachi, who is a regular visitor to Demelza, impressed the Archbishop with his knowledge of the hospice and its facilities – as well as the ease and confidence he showed in guiding round his VIP visitor.
The Archbishop took part in music therapy with some of the children and also tried out the soft play area, computer and sensory rooms and took time out to speak to a recently-bereaved family, staying in the Hospice’s Hop Garden. He was welcomed by Demelza’s Chief Executive Ryan Campbell, chair of trustees Sarah Phillips, and Derek Phillips, founder President of Demelza.
The Archbishop said: “This place is a tardis! It isn’t large on the outside but inside there is a whole country of wonderful care and love. I have been blown away by it.”
The visitors enjoyed tea in the magnificent gardens, cared for largely by volunteers, where they also met with Reverends Mike and Liz Resch, from Holy Trinity Church, Sittingbourne, and some of the families, volunteers, trustees and vice-presidents of Demelza. At the end of the tour, the Archbishop was presented with a paper dove produced by Demelza’s children in art therapy, patterned with their thumbprints.