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Aylesbury's free Christmas lunch open for all

The annual free event starts with a lunch for visitors

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 3:45pm 24th December 2019. 3-minute read.

Aylesbury's free Christmas lunch open for all

St Mary's church in Aylesbury provides more than a meal for its visitors

The annual event is open to people of all nationalities, religions and ages. 

Visitors can be people who might be alone, those without a home, someone who wants to do something different and families struggling during the holidays.

The volunteers at St Mary's want the day to be about the true meaning of Christmas, bringing people together and celebrating local community.

Local members of the community donate their time, money and food for the lunch. 

St Mary's Free Christmas Lunch

Kim Walter has been coordinating the event with her husband for four years, and is amazed with people's generosity:

"We have a guy who does a car rally, and the car club get given our Christmas list. Its like a treasure hunt, they each have to go and get items off our food list and whoever gets back first is the winner. 

"I went there last Sunday to tell them about the Christmas lunch and I broke down. These people are strangers but yet they want to help other people. They never met the people they're going to feed.

"I just thought this is what Christmas is about, sharing the love and wanting to help people they'll never meet. Yet, they're going to give people the best day of their lives."

After a hot drink and a snack, visitors will be treated to a full Christmas meal, with pudding. (Vegetarian and vegan options are available.)

It's not just about the food though.

There will be games, a performance from the community choir and last year there was even a hairdresser treating guests to a transformation. 

St Mary's Free Christmas Lunch

After their lunch, attendees are invited to fill two shopping bags with items from the shop. 

From cereal to cat food, Aylesbury locals have donated to make sure the shop is full with items for those who attend.

Despite the hard work they put in, Kim says its all worth it:

"I think I was like most people, thinking Christmas was so commercialised. Not when you've done this, not when you see how many people need something and you're able to help. 

"All the stress I go through, all the not eating and then Christmas day comes and you see why you do it. 

"The guests dress up in their Sunday best and the volunteers wear Christmas aprons and funny hats. 

"If you want to see the wonder of community and the wonder of Christmas then pop in to say hello to everyone. If you want to see a true Christmas, it's there."

Volunteers will be at St Mary's church until 1 pm on Christmas Eve if anybody would like to make a donation to the shop.


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