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Christmas Lunch 2009

A very big ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped to make the recent Christmas Day Lunch such a great success!

It was declared to be “fantastic”, “brilliant”, “delicious”, “one of the best”. That was all due to great generosity from both individuals and businesses so that our guests could be truly that, and not ‘customers’. While some helped to provide the Christmas fare, others gave what was especially precious on Christmas Day - their time, their talents and their hard work. As one ‘worker’ said at the end, she was exhausted but it was most rewarding, well worth it.

On Christmas Eve everything began to come together at the URC Church Family Centre. Tables were set and decorated; in the kitchen dishes and glasses were unpacked; borrowed hostess trolleys arrived; ‘After Eights’, fruit, mince pies and crackers appeared by magic, and the festive stage was set.

The following morning delicious smells wafted towards the church as food arrived to be cooked or held ready in the heated trolleys. From 12:30 onwards people began arriving, some courtesy of the volunteer drivers recruited for the occasion. Three of the clergy - Father Hetherington, the Revd Dewing and the Revd Owen - greeted people on behalf of PACT and, when all was ready, said Grace. Many years of experience have helped to streamline the serving and clearing of courses and all went smoothly, to a background of Christmassy music and under the guidance of an excellent MC, Henry Marshall. After a short interval he also ‘conducted’ a programme of entertainment which was very well received. Guests were returned home well supplied with mince pies, chocolates and fruit, while helpers from the kitchen sat down to their own delayed but welcome meal, having served 60 people on the premises and sent out a further 10 meals to some who could not get there.

Behind the scenes and before the event, Jill Watts worked hard to keep lists of offers, volunteers, potential guests, etc., etc. (though she was with family on Christmas Day). Next year Jill will not be available even for that, while Jean and Bob Greenhill are also standing down after their years of service. That means we shall also need a new cook, someone to approach the stores for donations, and someone to organise the transport and take on some very varied practical tasks. Any offers? These crucial roles must be filled if we are to satisfy the expectations of our regular visitors who have come to look forward to these few hours of company on Christmas Day.

Bob welcomes diners     Joy and Jean serving
Bob welcomes Joy and Jean serving
Rob arrives Lis in the kitchen
Rob arrives Lis in the kitchen
John surveys the fruit Serving the meal
John surveys the fruit Serving the meal
The main purpose of the day - Christmas Lunch! The main purpose of the day - Christmas Lunch!
The main purpose of the day - Christmas Lunch!
Thanks to all who helped in any way with the Christmas Lunch

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