12th January 2017

CHRISTMAS DAY AT THE METHODIST CHURCH CENTRAL HALL 2016

Group of Volunteers Xmas 2016

Cyrenians held their annual event on Christmas day, at the Methodist Church, Central Hall, welcoming all that may be homeless, lonely, vulnerable, or would have gone without a Christmas dinner.  A huge thank you to all the Volunteers who gave up their time on 

Shelagh Williams Xmas 16

Christmas day, arriving early to set up tables, with crackers and beautiful table decorations handmade by Shelagh Williams and some donated by IKEA.  

Special thanks to the chef, Steve McCormack who prepared all the vegetables, Michael Law, Joan Rennie & Mary Stephens (who have volunteered in the kitchen at this event for many years) and Stephen Lane who prepares the Christmas puddings & custard, plus John & Lynda Wells who organise the refreshments. We would also like to thank Reverend Mark Rowland for the use of the Central Hall again this year.

John Lynda Xmas 2016Mary Joan Xmas 2016 ColourMichael Carolyn Xmas 2016

 

There were approximately 100 guests were served with a three course dinner, treats and on-going refreshments throughout the day. Presents of socks and chocolate, gift bags, (including gifts donated by Find Me A Gift) toiletries and clothing were given out during the day. These were donated through the huge generosity of local schools, churches and general public.

Guests 2 Xmas 2016

Guests 1 Xmas 2016Guests 3 Xmas 2016

 

Special thanks to Michael Wilson who co-ordinated the day for the fourth year running, Thomas & David Scarsbrook who have provided the music/audio equipment for the several years, and to Matt Cattell who co-ordinated the entertainment provided by volunteers including, Liberty Church Choir, Alice Robinson singer/guitarist, Sophie Greener on flute, Steph Ulph & Angela Delgram reading poetry, Deji & Sharon Iyiola on guitar and singing, Rev. Mark Rowland on keyboard, Whizzy (rapper), and all the wonderful carol singers!  Even a few guests joined in!

 

Steph Ulph Xmas 2016Vicar in Colour 2016Sophie Greener Xmas 2016Alice Robinson Xmas 2016Carol Singers Xmas 2016

A massive thanks to photographer Atul Patel who volunteered to take pictures throughout the day free of charge. More photos can be viewed in our Gallery.

Sophie Greener who has volunteered on Christmas Day for the past 3 years filmed her own Vlog of her experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CAN168OKnU

 

FEEDBACK

 

From Guests:

Guests 4 Xmas 2016

Guests 5 2016

 

 

The best bit was dinner and eating it!”      “Beautiful!”

“100% good.”     “Thank you so much for all your hard work, it has meant a lot.”

“All very good & excellent.”    “The best day ever and meeting June.”

“Best part of my day was my dinner, presents and lovely people.”

“I liked company and had a good Christmas.”

“Best part was the food & Choir.”

“The food was delicious, great entertainment, lovely volunteers, very friendly.”

 

From Volunteers:

John Chris Xmas 2016

Graham Nicola Xmas 2016

Daisy June Xmas 2016

 

 Rich Lock Xmas 2016

 

 “It was great fun, well organised and wonderful to see people mucking in with all kind of different roles :) Well done, it was a pleasure to be a part of x.”

“Had a brilliant time - great to see old friends & meet new ones too.”

“Thought it was good that there was entertainment throughout the meal & afterwards. Good idea to have one person to coordinate that “

“I attended on Christmas day and it was very rewarding giving back to Cyrenians (I am an old resident), also helping make a good Christmas possible for less fortunate.
Seeing the folk enjoy a good Christmas roast and the happiness bought about by the day was just some of my favourite moments of Christmas day 2016. Due in part to Cyrenians and the support I received as a resident, on the 3rd of January I reached a milestone of five years sober. So thank you it was my first year volunteering and hope to be able to help in the future.”

“The whole event was, as always, very well organised - and it's a joy to share the day with such lovely volunteers (quite a few new ones this year) and guests. I enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with 'old acquaintances'.”

 “Thank you, Jo, for organising this and for letting me be part of this wonderful event.”

“People I volunteered with were great, I have the impression most of them sacrifice their time each year, which is amazing, some great commitment there!”

“The day itself it was great, loved it even though I heard some very sad storys. The guests were all well behaved and no trouble at all.”

“I found it very rewarding to me as I had the chance to interact with people I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to do so. The food was well cooked and most of the clients seemed to have had enough.”

 “We both enjoyed the day very much. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and we felt very welcome. Everyone was very respectful to one another and it was lovely to meet  both guests and volunteers. It was also great to see and hear first hand from  people about the work of the Cyrenians. I think we will want to help again next year.”