Festive cheer for the lonely

Mustard Seed volunteers prepare the festive dinner.
Mustard Seed volunteers prepare the festive dinner.
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Fleetwood volunteers provided some well needed festive cheer to some of the lonely and the destitute in the town just days before Christmas.

Visitors to the Mustard Seed Group sat down to a magnificent festive dinner with all the trimmings on Monday, all cooked and served by regular volunteers.

Father John Hall at the festive service after the Mustard Seed's Chrsitmas meal.

Father John Hall at the festive service after the Mustard Seed's Chrsitmas meal.

Few of those sitting down to the meal, which was staged at the town’s St Peter’s Church on Monday, will have the chance of a full roast on Christmas day.

Unlike many, they have no families and are without the means to be able to enjoy such a meal on the big day itself.

So this event, held in Fleetwood for the last four years, was their only chance.

Some of the regulars at the table have been homeless in the past.

But for one day they were able to enjoy a slap-up festive meal, take part in a prize raffle and each receive a present.

Hot meal sessions are held at the church every Monday night.

Hilary Craig, one of the regular volunteers who helped prepare the festive meal, said: “By helping out like this we can sow the seeds of hope and faith in the community.

“We were trying to show that we do care for all at this time of year when not all people are able or want to enjoy Christmas Day.

“So with our dinner, carols round the piano and gifts we were giving the people who attended a special part of the Christmas season to take away with them.”

Last year the Mustard Seed Group itself was struggling to obtain enough food for its hot meals service.

But shops and residents in the town rallied round to help.

Hilary added: “The Christmas meal has been brilliant this year and we can’t thank the people enough for their help over the last few weeks.

“The response from the people in Fleetwood when we needed help was truly amazing and kept Christmas going.”

Also helping out was St Peter’s vicar, Father John Hall, who led a special festive service in the church after the meal.

One of those who enjoyed this year’s meal, a man in his fifties who preferred just to be known as John, said: “This has been brilliant, not just the meal but knowing someone cares and can spend time to talk.”