Community has a cracker Christmas

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More than 100 people turned out to celebrate Christmas together at the Orwell Street Church community lunch, making it the highest attendance yet.

The Orwell Street Church has been holding a free community Christmas lunch for the last seven years as a chance to give back to the community.

Christmas lunch co-coordinator Amanda Acheson said they had only planned for about 80 people but welcomed the higher-than-expected crowd for the biggest one so far.

The Christmas diners enjoyed the festivities, with plenty of food available thanks to kind donations for the lunch, she said.

Families also pitched in, helping out with preparations and cleaning, Mrs Acheson said.

Mrs Acheson felt it was important to hold something like this, as it made the church relevant in the community and encouraged young people to help out.

Sylvia Spruce, who was helping with dish-washing on the day, said she loved to be able to be part of the community by helping out.

She came here when she had nowhere else to go, so it was nice to be able to give back and enjoy the great atmosphere, she said.

Colleen Francis said she was pleased to be able to attend this year, as she had always wanted to, but never had.

The tables were lined with Christmas crackers and carols were being played before the lunch of hot and cold meat, vegetables and desserts to make it an occasion to remember.

By RUBY HARFIELD

MERRY TIME: Julie Everson, Harry Andrews and Christine Rolton having a merry time at the Orwell Street Church Christmas lunch.

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD