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Salvation Army prepares traditional Christmas Day community meal

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 December 2017

A previous Christmas Day lunch at the Salvation Army Citadel in Lowestoft. 

Picture: Archant library.

A previous Christmas Day lunch at the Salvation Army Citadel in Lowestoft. Picture: Archant library.

Archant Norfolk © 2013

It is the time of the year when family and friends get together to celebrate.

Salvation Army volunteers prepare for the Christmas Day meal. Picture: Nick Butcher.Salvation Army volunteers prepare for the Christmas Day meal. Picture: Nick Butcher.

But Christmas can be a very lonely place for people who are on their own.

The Salvation Army provides a place for people who may be alone on Christmas Day, with a community meal aiming to make sure no one “misses out on the festivities.”

The Salvation Army Lowestoft Citadel, on Battery Green Road, will once again be serving a Christmas feast for the whole community on December 25.

Last year a team of Salvation Army staff and volunteers prepared a free traditional Christmas meal complete with crackers, entertainment, carol singing and presents for more than 100 people from the Lowestoft area.

Lieutenants Gemma Allen and Adrian Allen. Courtesy of The Salvation Army Lowestoft CitadelLieutenants Gemma Allen and Adrian Allen. Courtesy of The Salvation Army Lowestoft Citadel

And this year, people are asked to encourage anyone who will be on their own this Christmas to get in touch with The Salvation Army.

Lieutenant at the Lowestoft Citadel, Adrian Allen, said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are finding life difficult. Some may be struggling to make ends meet while others will be facing the Christmas season on their own. We want to make sure anyone who will be alone on Christmas Day is invited to our community meal so that no one misses out on the festivities.

“The Christmas Story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need so we’re asking for people to spread the message that The Salvation Army’s doors are open this Christmas Day.”

The Salvation Army works throughout the year to provide compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help to people who are vulnerable or in need in Lowestoft. In addition to church services every Sunday, the Lowestoft Citadel runs free community meals every Tuesday morning and provides emergency food for people in need.

They also run a social group for older people and Saturday coffee mornings.

Lieutenant Allen added: “We have our annual carol service on Sunday, December 17 at 3pm on Battery Green Road with our brass band and choir. It will be a great festive occasion and we’d love to see you there.”

To book a place at the Christmas Day meal or for more information please contact The Salvation Army on 01502 539118. Volunteers wanting to assist with preparations on Christmas Eve or with serving the meal on Christmas Day can also call 01502 539118.

Pre-Christmas meals

As well as the Christmas Day meal being held at the Lowestoft Citadel, The South Lowestoft Salvation Army will also be hosting two pre-Christmas lunches.

The first will be held on Friday, December 22, with a Christmas FISH event - food in the school holidays.

Running from noon to 2pm, this free Christmas lunch with all the trimmings is open to the whole family.

The organisers ask that places are booked in advance, and this can be done by calling Lowestoft Community Church on 01502 537527.

Then on Saturday, December 23, a Christmas meal for the homeless and those in need on the south side of town is being held.

People are welcome to just turn up on the day, with more information available by calling 01502 574815.

Both lunches will be held at the Lowestoft South church in Carlton Road.

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