An annual tradition will come full circle this year as the Singleton community prepares to celebrate a special lunch on Christmas Eve.
The event, which has previously been held on Christmas Day, offers much-needed compassion and companionship for individuals and families who are having a tough time.
This year’s lunch will take place at All Saints Anglican Parish Hall, signalling a return to the original venue where the event was held nearly 20 years ago.
The Reverend Canon Michelle Hazel-Jawhary said the Anglican Parish of Singleton had joined forces with Samaritans once again to ensure fewer people spend the festive season alone.
“With Samaritans Christmas lunch being in the parish hall this year, it feels like it’s coming home to where it all began after many years in other venues,” she said.
“Our hall is comfortable, and we want people to flourish by feeling loved, cared for, and spoilt. “The Christmas lunch aligns with the mission and vision of Newcastle Anglican. Our prayer is that God in Christ will use us all so that others may have fullness of life and know the peace that Christmas brings.”
The inaugural lunch in Singleton took place on Christmas Eve in 2006.
Samaritans, the service agency of Newcastle Anglican, has received generous support from local businesses and volunteers over the years.
Parishioner Wendy Love encouraged those in need to attend the lunch at the revamped parish hall.
“When we first started this event, the message was ‘don’t be on your own,’” she said.
“Some people might not necessarily be doing it tough, but they might be new to town and don’t know anyone.
“Back in 2006 we didn’t have air conditioning in the hall, so it’s much cooler now. We’ve also got a new kitchen, which was completed earlier this year.
“So, it’s all shaping up as another fantastic event for our community.”
The Singleton Christmas Eve lunch will go from 11am to 2pm on Sunday 24 December at the parish hall (Bishopgate Street, Singleton).