Christmas is a great time for lots of people, but for some, it’s not so cheery; neighbours have gone away, lunch clubs are taking a break, coffee shops and libraries are closed and public transport is almost non-existent. It feels like everyone is building up for the ‘big day’ where they’ll be enjoying food and fun with their friends and family but for those who have no one to be with, or have no money, there’s nothing to look forward to at all. Well, in Dumfries, there’s hope; once again the River of Life Church by the Railway Station is opening its doors to anyone who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone or in need. It’s completely free and comprises a full Christmas Day Dinner, with all the trimmings. There’ll even be vegetarian options available. There’s no need to book either, with plenty for everyone!
This year, they’re also giving parcels of food and gifts to people who come, to help them through the rest of the festive season and they’ve teamed up with communitychristmas.org.uk, which lets people know what similar groups are doing around the UK.
This will be the thirteenth annual Christmas Day Dinner staged at the River of Life Church, by Dumfries Railway Station and the eleventh year professional chef, Eddie Vallance, has volunteered his services. He and his wife Tracy will be coordinating a team of excited volunteers all helping in a variety of ways.
Mark Smith, Pastor of the Church says; “Please don’t be miserable on Christmas Day – come along to a very warm welcome, some fantastic food (turkey and everything you’d expect with a great roast), plus some super entertainment.
“Let’s remember the festive season can be rotten for some people – when everyone seems to be having a fantastic time except you. Here at River of Life, we always serve some great festive fayre, but equally important; a loving welcome to all, without judgement and irrespective of faith or non.
“We’re so grateful to ordinary people and business in our region – folk are so generous, making this event possible. Thanks so much Dumfries! There’s a one hour service at 11am on Christmas Day too, so people are very welcome to that as well, or just arrive for the meal at 1pm if they’d rather.”
Anyone who’d like to help out or support the event is very welcome to do so by contacting Mark Smith on 07710 111727