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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Tragic little girl's last Christmas in Faversham set to be a magical experience as St John's church in Upper Brents transformed into Winter Wonderland

22 December 2013
by Bess Browning

Denise Bell, of Newton Road, was shocked to discover her best friend's child Isabella has only eight to 12 weeks to live.

So she is turning a derelict Faversham church into a Winter Wonderland for Isabella's last Christmas from 4pm today.

Isabella Coomber, three, on mum Jo Hale’s lap with older sister Rebecca and 19-month old Sophia

Isabella Coomber, three, on mum Jo Hale’s lap with older sister Rebecca and 19-month old Sophia

Denise bought St John's church, in Upper Brents, three years ago and - despite it being unused for years - it is now being transformed into a Christmas dream land.

Isabella lives in London with her parents and two sisters, six-year-old Rebecca and 19-months-old Sophia.

Denise has spoken about how distraught young Rebecca is over her sister's illness and is determined to make the event something to remember for all the girls.

She said: "They have an amazing sister bond and I want Rebecca to remember this event.

"It is so awful, but rather than thinking about how upsetting this is over Christmas, I've decided I'm going to make it Isabella's best Christmas ever.

"It's going to be about being an ordinary Christmas – laughing, happy people, people dressing up as pixies and elves – it's going to be great."

Family friend Denise Bell, who is turning her church into a winter wonderland

Family friend Denise Bell, who is turning her church into a winter wonderland

The Mayor of Faversham and carnival queens will join families and Father Christmas in his grotto at the event.

It has attracted several businesses in the town to contribute essentials to make the party a success.

From snow machines to refreshments, Denise has been overwhelmed with offerings once people knew about Isabella's story.

Macknade Farm Shop donated a large Christmas tree they have had on their grounds since the 1940s and Mount Ephraim donated a large amount of holly.

Denise said: "The support from the community has been phenomenal. I haven't had to pay a penny really. I am just in awe of how amazing people have been."

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