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Preparations for Core Church’s 2018 Melksham Community Christmas Dinner are well in hand.
Organisers say, “We already have over 100 people booked in. The first sitting at 12pm is starting to fill up, so anyone who hasn’t yet booked and would like to eat early, rather than at 3pm, should get in touch soon.
“Our aim is to make the day accessible to everyone. During the course of the many phone calls that I receive during November and December, I get asked lots of questions to which the answer is yes. Can you give me a lift to the Assembly Hall? A lift home? Can you give me a lift if I have a walker? What about a wheelchair? Is it OK if I come to the hall in my mobility scooter? Do you cater for vegetarians? Vegans? People who are gluten intolerant? Is it OK if I don’t eat the turkey? Or brussel sprouts? I am also often asked by people if they are eligible to attend. The answer to that question is always yes. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your circumstances are – all are welcome.
“We have already had a good number of people volunteering to serve food, which is great because last year we only just had enough people to look after all the tables at both sittings. We ask that our helpers sit and have dinner with the people at their table, rather than serve at the Assembly Hall and then go home for their own meal, because we want to send out a clear message to our guests – this is our Christmas Dinner too, this is our Christmas Day and we are choosing to spend it with you because you matter. Since we don’t know until the last minute how many people are going to join us on Christmas Day, we never say no to an offer of help, so it’s not too late to volunteer.
“Not everyone who wants to help is available to serve lunch. On the day, we also need some people to help with transport, but they are required to have a CRB or DBS check. With two sittings and the carol service in between, the transport logistics can be quite complicated!
“On Christmas Eve we set up the Assembly Hall between 10am and 12pm. The biggest task is laying the tables – this is a job for people with an eye for detail as we want to make the room as beautiful as possible. Other people ask if there’s anything they can provide – we send every guest home with a gift of food to enjoy over the rest of Christmas – we have a selection of Christmas biscuits, sweets, cakes, nuts etc for them to choose from, so donations along those lines are always welcome.”