special Christmas cheer came the way of people who would otherwise have spent Christmas Day by themselves.
A group of volunteers led by the Rev. Phil Clarke gathered at Central Methodist Church, Burnley, and invited those facing Christmas Day alone to join them. And, thanks to sponsorship, they were able to share Christmas lunch with more than 50 people – some housebound and in need of home delivery – and have enough left over to donate 10 meals to the Elizabeth Street Project run by Calico.
Mr Clarke was delighted with the day, the first time such a meal was planned in Burnley. He said: “To share Christmas with people who would have been by themselves was something I wanted to try. Not only did we have food and fellowship, but we had enough sponsorship to make sure everyone left with a Christmas gift.”
Backing came from the Calico ABC Fund and also from Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. The local hospital service cooked Christmas lunches and there were several private sponsorships.
Mr Clarke continued: “Without the sponsorship and volunteers none of it would have been possible and we are grateful to everyone who joined in. We also owe a great deal to Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS as they helped us recruit volunteers and volunteer drivers, helped us find sponsorship and their publicity machine was invaluable. Now we have done this once, we are determined to go ahead and make things even better next year.”