Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity’s Christmas celebrations officially began when we returned to the beautiful St Luke’s Church in Chelsea for another Royal Brompton Carols by Candlelight, this time to raise funds to help with the diagnosis of inherited conditions.

The church was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and it was lovely to greet staff, patients and friends of the hospitals as they arrived for the concert. The evening began with a welcome from our chief executive, Richard Bowyer, before we were treated to angelic singing from the London Oratory Schola.

There were Gospel readings from our celebrity guests, broadcasting legend Angela Rippon CBE and space scientist and educator Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, as well as from the head of the Royal Brompton Genetics and Genomics Laboratory, Dr Deborah Morris-Rosendahl, and charity trustee Helen Putter. Charlotte Dyer, mother of Ruben and champion fundraiser, also read a powerful poem she had written, called Why am I Standing Here, which was greeted by heartfelt applause from the audience. There were also prayers and blessings from the Reverend Prebendary Dr Brian Leathard, rector at St Luke’s Church.


Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock said:

Being here, with my daughter, and supporting this cause is so important. To be here listening to the choir, hearing the readings, being moved by all the people, and some of the stories people were telling has just been fantastic. It shows the importance of the work that the charity is doing. It is saving lives. For my daughter and I, it means that Christmas has truly started now.

The evening raised £6,500 for our Next Generation Genetics appeal, which will purchase a brand new sequencer for Dr Morris-Rosendahl’s team. This new technology will allow them to greatly expand the quantity of genetic tests for inherited heart and lung conditions they can perform. This will mean that patients can get diagnosed faster and get the treatment they need sooner.

The concert was followed by a reception with mulled wine and minced pies at Royal Brompton Hospital. It was lovely to share some Christmas cheer with friends of the hospitals old and new.

We would like to thank everyone who came, donated and helped make this a special evening. The funds everyone contributed to raising will make a real difference for heart and lung patients. We would like to say an especially big thank you to our celebrity guests Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Angela Rippon and to the London Oratory Schola for their heavenly singing.

Merry Christmas to everyone who came and we hope that you have a lovely festive season.