Lambeth Palace’s ten acre garden – used by England’s archbishops for around 800 years – is London’s second largest garden, with only Her Majesty the Queen boasting more green space.
Justin Welby and his wife Caroline have now given a key to the private garden to their neighbours at St Thomas’ so staff can take time out to enjoy its tranquil space.
Caroline said: “There is something magical for all of us who live at Lambeth Palace about knowing we are in central London with the traffic roaring past outside and yet being able to sit or walk in an oasis of calm and beauty just over the wall.
“The juxtaposition has been even more striking during lockdown as we have watched the garden come to life and enjoyed its peace and quiet, while knowing that over the road the staff at St Thomas’s Hospital have been working so hard and sacrificially on behalf of us all.
“It has been fitting, therefore, to offer them a key to our garden, which enables them on their breaks to come in, wander round and find peace here for themselves, at a suitable distance of course!”