Wetherby churches unite to feed 70 on Christmas day
Nic and Sally Sheppard tell us how Churches Together in Wetherby will be sharing a little Christmas spirit this year…
In 2014, one couple in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, decided to share their extended family Christmas Lunch with four folk, recommended by their Vicar, who would otherwise be on their own. It was a great success, and very quickly the Vicar asked whether, with more publicity, they would be willing to broaden the invitation and do it again the following year.
The decision was made to make it a joint church initiative using local volunteer cooks, servers, drivers and entertainers, making it a Christmas Day to remember for 33 people in 2015.
A significant spin-off has been the enthusiastic response from traders, schools and the wider community, with numerous donations of food, equipment, gifts and time being generously shared by many. The churches now take turns to host the event, but share resources and draw volunteers from each of the churches every year.
Each year numbers have grown. and this year we fully expect over 70 guests and 30 volunteers on the day. Other volunteers help with the many practical preparations. The young Uniformed groups make personalised cards and Christmas decorations, helping change some rather plain church halls into winter wonderlands!
All of the guests and some of the volunteers either live alone or have reason to find the day particularly difficult. Whilst the food is excellent and the entertainment enjoyable, the greatest satisfaction for both the guests and the volunteers is drawn from the friendly chat and very good company. Together, the churches are helping the community taste and share some Christmas joy.