Christmas Community Lunch hailed as a fabulous festive success

People enjoying the first Christmas Community Lunch.
People enjoying the first Christmas Community Lunch.

Organisers have thanked everyone who helped ensure Horncastle first-ever Christmas Community Lunch was a sparkling success.

The idea for the lunch started in a discussion between Rev Samantha Parsons and town-based PSCO Nigel Wass during one of their ‘Copper and Curatye’ patrols earlier in the year.

Top of the shop: A game of bingo is about to start

Top of the shop: A game of bingo is about to start

After weeks of planning - and with help from a volunteers - the event took shape.

Donations were also received from many local businesses and individuals.

The fun began at 11.30am on Christmas Day with mulled wine, following by a traditional Christmas lunch, with a desert of Christmas pudding or trifle.

This was followed by tea, coffee and homemade mince pies, made by Karen Smith, and Christmas cake, made and donated by Fulletby Church.

All smiles: Some of the guests who attended the luncheon at the Community Centre.

All smiles: Some of the guests who attended the luncheon at the Community Centre.

Attractions included a table top Christmas film photo quiz, Play Your Cards Right led by Julian Millington with his Dolly Dealers, festive singing, a free raffle, a visit from Santa and the Queen’s Speech at 3pm.

Prizes for the games were donated by the Bridge Coffee House and Myers Bakers.

The raffle, organised by Michelle Humphries and Karen Smith, saw gifts donated by Thornton Church, which also donated fruit punch for the tables.

Tickets for the raffle were handmade by Kieran, Kayleigh and Annalise Bernard, from St Mary’s Church, who spent days creating them.

Volunteers who helped make the meal a success.

Volunteers who helped make the meal a success.

Michael and Christina Bernard joined their three children in making and donating two Christmas hampers.

Gifts were donated by Age UK Coffee Morning and gift bags full of small presents were also given to each guest.

The 50 bags were made by Sandra Wass, who received donations of material from different people, including the Horncastle Sewing Centre.

Other gifts were donated by the Joseph Banks Centre, One Stop Shop, the Spar at the Shell Garage, AgeUK Lindsey and Christina Ivett and Michele Humphries.

Ingredients for the meal came from a number of organisations in the town and surrounding areas.

The turkey was donated by Papworth Butchers in Coningsby and pigs in blankets came from Graham Fielding Mobile Butcher and Nigel Wass.

Vegetables were donated by Tesco with Emily Colley and David Laird donating the all-important sprouts.

Desert of Christmas puddings was generously donated by the Lincolnshire Co-Op.

The beautiful table decorations were made and donated by Rosedale House Florist and the Horncastle Women’s Institute.

Mary Taylor, who was the chef in charge of catering, was one of many to receive praise..

The Rev Parsons said: “As well as doing all the preparations beforehand, Mary turned up at 7am on Christmas morning to cook an incredible meal.

“We are indebted to her kindness and generosity.”

Entertainment was organised by PSCO Wass, with help from Christina Ivett.

Angela Birchall organised the drinks, which were donated by the Lions, Jennie Wilson from AgeUK Lindsey, Michele Humphries and Karen Smith from Thornton Church, and Linda and Ian Vickers.

Fifteen volunteers helped with preparations and with serving during the day and clearing up.

The Rev Parsons explained: “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals and businesses within the community and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated time, gifts, food or money.

“We are already talking about doing it again next year.”

Money was also donated by The Horncastle Health and Wellbeing Fund, the Lions, The Methodist Church Coffee, Cake and Chat Group, and the Shell Garage, in Horncastle.

Around 4e0 people attended - many of them would have spent Chrtimas Day on their own.

Many guests commented that they had had a wonderful day and were overwhelmed by the effort that had gone into the event - and the generosity of the community towards them.

One guest said how much she had enjoyed the day because last year she had spent three days without seeing or speaking to anyone over Christmas.

Another guest said how much she had loved the day because she had been feeling very lonely.

Some people who attended wanted to make a donation and the £166.50 raised has been given to East Coast Homeless Outreach, ECHO - a community organisation based in Louth which helps the homeless in Lincolnshire.

•For more pictures and comments, see next week’s Horncastle News.