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Evening Meeting With Amanda Mckean, Director Canterbury Festival

30th April 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground

Evening meeting with Amanda McKean, Director, Canterbury Festival.
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Lunchtime Meeting Agm & May Business Meeting

7th May 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground
Lunchtime meeting 12.30pm for 1pm meal Annual General Meeting to be followed by the May Business Meeting.
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Update on donation to All Saints, Canterbury Food Larder

It’s taken us a little bit of time to follow up on this, but we were very pleased to hear about a Christmas meal run by Canterbury Baptist Church with All Saints, Canterbury Food Larder that we helped to support last year.

We were approached earlier in 2023 by Liz Rook (who runs the All Saints Church Food Larder) for support to put on a Christmas lunch and a day’s activities for around 100 isolated, vulnerable people in Canterbury. [All Saints Church Food Larder operates every Friday offering breakfast followed by food distribution and assorted leisure activities for people to join in and get to know one another.]

Several of our members were already familiar with the Church: they had attended a Sunday service there back in 2022 during our Pentangular meeting at the nearby the Prince of Wales Youth Club. Our Community Service & Vocational Committee agreed to a donation of £200 toward the Christmas lunch.

“The Big Christmas Lunch” was duly held on Christmas Day for around 100 people who, for many different reasons, joined in the event. Attendees included the old, the young, refugees, asylum seekers, disabled friends and able-bodied, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts and many more besides. Those who came alone quickly made friends with the folk on their table. Others came in twos or small groups; there were several family units too. Everyone was made to feel warm and welcome. 

Guests arrived at 11 am for coffee, biscuits and Christmas crackers. Around 12.30 pm they enjoyed a wonderful roast turkey lunch – expertly cooked and served by two chefs offering their services voluntarily.

Guest enjoyed “Pass the Parcel” (with exciting parcels for each table!) plus a special Christmas bingo session. The event ended at around 3.30pm with a glorious Karaoke session.

As well as us, the event was supported by a range of donors including local businesses and individuals. “We were delighted to be able to purchase all the food and drink needed with the wonderful financial donations made by so many different organisations and kind individuals,” said Liz, adding “we wanted for nothing and felt that we had been able to provide a most memorable Christmas day for those who joined us. It was a lovely opportunity for us to help people in our community have a special time in the company of others which otherwise might not have been possible.”

On Christmas Eve the organisers had a surprise visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. We gather that he helped to peel sprouts while chatting amiably with the volunteers who helped with preparations for the big day.

It seems that everyone had a nice time at the “Big Christmas Lunch” and we gather from Liz that requests are already coming in for another Big Christmas Lunch this year!

Picture: Guests enjoying the “Big Christmas Lunch”. Picture credit: All Saints Church Food Larder (reproduced with permission).

With thanks to Liz Rook for help with this article. 

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