A church pastor is doing his best to make sure no-one goes hungry or cold on Christmas Day this year.
The Baptist Church on Clovenside Road has extended its social space and is making the generous offer of friendship, warmth and a free festive lunch on 25 December, the most poignant day in the Christian calendar.
Pastor Jon Mackenzie and church secretary Rosemary Pannell have been busy getting everything in place for the big day and are asking for people to let them know if they are coming so they make sure they have enough food and don’t have to turn people away.
New kitchen facilities
Rosemary said: “This is the first year that we have had full use of the building that we meet in and we are very fortunate to now have a lovely new meeting room and kitchen facilities.
“We are a church family who enjoy spending time together and supporting each other. There was no room for Jesus when he was born but we would like to offer food, space, warmth and friendship at the church to anyone who would like to come this Christmas Day.
She explained that this is the first time they have been able to offer the meal as they have not had the facilities before. The church has been fortunate to have turkey crowns donated by Macbeth’s Butchers, with the offer of further help, and Tesco have offered to supply some items on their shopping list.
Rosemary added: “There is no charge for the lunch. If anyone would like to make a financial donation we can use it to get any additional items that have not been donated.”
The church acquired full use of the premises in March and have held several events and activities. They meet for refreshments after Sunday morning service, and every week on Tuesdays between 10am and noon, there is a drop-in session where everyone is welcome to go and have a free cuppa and chat.
There is also a pantry of food and household items that you can help yourself to.
Rosemary added: “We want to welcome people to our church and serve our local community and so we are trying to offer different things.
“We have takeaway nights and coffee mornings where you can come along and meet new friends. We have had an Alpha course where you can explore the Christian Faith in a warm and safe environment, another course will be starting in the New Year for anyone who would like to come along.
“On 5 November we gave out free hot dogs, jacket potatoes and hot chocolate to families before they headed off to see the fireworks in Grant Park.”
Anyone wanting a free Christmas dinner at the church should email email@example.com