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Churches offer Christmas meal
WHILE many people will spend this December 25 at home with their families, dedicated volunteers from Crewe churches are busy making sure those less fortunate can still enjoy their Christmas Day.
For the past 25 years, Churches Together in Crewe has offered a Turkey meal and friendly festive day to the elderly, homeless and anyone who might otherwise have spent Christmas on their own.
The event, run by several parishes in Crewe, operates from St Michaels Church, off Ford Lane in Coppenhall.
The day was instigated by church stalwart, Nan Birtles, and is currently co-ordinated by David Bilsborough.
He said: “We provide a Christmas for these people who might not otherwise have a hot meal, or even see anybody at Christmas.
“It makes a huge difference to people. Although it’s through churches together, nobody is forced to say prayers or anything like that.
“We get homeless people that come along, but in the main it’s people in Crewe that would be on their own.”
“Some people have been coming now for 15 or 20 years. We’ve noticed in the past two or three years that more young people have been coming to us; people in their 30s and 40s.”
Guests are greeted to St Michael’s from 11.30am. They are given a cup of tea or coffee, shown to their table, and given a Christmas card.
Guests can join in with Christmas songs played on the organ, play games or just chat, before a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is served at 1pm. Diners also get a goody bag of mince pieces when they leave.
For people without transport, volunteers can drive people to and from their homes.
Up to twelve dedicated volunteers from churches across Crewe give up their own Christmas days to lay on the event; cooking the meal and helping with entertainment and organisation.
In recent years, David said volunteers had ‘found it difficult’ to raise the £1,000 necessary to stage the event.
He added: “If you could be there and see the look on people’s faces; when the older people take your arm as you’re walking past and thank you from the bottom of their hearts. That’s what spurs you on, and you realise what you’re doing is very worthwhile.”