Gorleston church hosts community Christmas lunch
A team of volunteers at St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston cooked and served lunch to almost fifty people on Christmas Day.
The free Christmas Day lunch, open to anyone who might otherwise be on their own or who doesn’t have anywhere else to go for Christmas, has been a regular fixture at the church for the last decade and the attendance has been steadily growing over the years.
Stuart Hanks who, along with his wife Julie, led the team in the kitchen said, “There is nowhere we would rather be on Christmas Day; it makes our Christmas to be involved!” Stuart’s team included volunteers from St Mary Magdalene church and other local churches as well as the wider community. One family with two school-age girls came to help before heading home for their own late lunch.
The team served up roast turkey with all the trimmings. There were also starters of prawn cocktail or egg mayonnaise and salad and a choice of gateaux for desert. Each person who attended also received a Christmas present of a toiletry gift set and some chocolates. Children received a bundle of toys. Everyone was also invited to go through to the church to collect a chocolate from the Christmas tree.
Rev Matthew Price, the minister of St Mary Magdalene Church said, “This is my family’s first Christmas at St Mary Mags and it was a joy for us to join in with such a great initiative. People I chatted to came for a variety of reasons: from being on their own, in some cases for the first time this Christmas, to actually having no home to be in. But there was a real warmth, a fun-loving atmosphere and a genuine sense of community as we celebrated together, whatever our reason.”
Rev Price continued, “Chuckles came as the chef, Stuart Hanks, wiggled the legs on his turkey hat; children experienced the kindness of a homeless man who helped with their word search; and lots of people stayed to help clear up at the end. It was a special day in the life of our community.”
The meal was funded by a combination of specific donations and food (including the turkeys) donated by Buckenham Emergency Food Aid. The church also hosts a weekly drop-in lunch known as The Bridge.
To read our previous article about the Christmas lunch, click here.
The photo above is courtesy of Rev Matthew Price.
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