Archbishop of Canterbury receives COVID-19 vaccine as hospital chaplaincy volunteer

Posted Jan 19, 2021

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby receives his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London, where he volunteers as a health care chaplain.
Photo: Lambeth Palace

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, Jan. 16. He was eligible to receive the vaccine as a health care chaplaincy volunteer at the central London St. Thomas’ Hospital, opposite his Lambeth Palace official residence. He has been volunteering at the hospital during the pandemic, offering spiritual care and support to patients, staff and visitors as part of the National Health Service (NHS) chaplaincy team.

“I want to encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine when they are invited,” Welby said. “Staff across the NHS, and health workers across the world, are under immense pressure on the front lines of this pandemic. They deserve not just our admiration but our support – and getting the vaccine when we have the opportunity is something we can all do to help relieve the burden on them.”

He continued: “It has been a privilege to volunteer at St. Thomas’ over the past year. Chaplains here and across the country are doing a vital job of providing spiritual and pastoral care to patients, staff and relatives at this acutely painful and difficult time.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby chats with a patient at St. Thomas’ Hospital while on one of his volunteer pastoral visits with the chaplaincy team in November 2020.
Photo: Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

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