Why there’s no need to be lonely this Christmas

The true meaning of Christmas will be alive and well in Cupar tomorrow thanks to the hard work and selflessness of a small team of volunteers.

People living on their own and those who are unable to visit friends and family are being invited to enjoy Christmas Day lunch at Age Concern.

For the fourth year in succession, the charity will throw open its doors to anyone who would like to spend Christmas Day in the company of others’.

As well as enjoying a traditional turkey dinner and refreshments, visitors will be able to enjoy some entertainment during the afternoon.

Canon Pat McInally, whose idea it was to hold the event, said the lunch is open to everyone, young or old.

“I have always wanted to give something back on Christmas Day,” he said.

“Now that I don’t have the same family commitments, I thought it would be a good idea to hold an event for people who may not have someone else to share Christmas Day with.

“Invitations have been sent out to people who regularly attend lunches at Age Concern but anyone who will be on their own or who is unable to spend the day with their friends or family is welcome to attend.

“The lunch, which is free, begins at 1pm and anyone who wants to can come along.

“Free transport is also available thanks to local councillor Bryan Poole who has offered to drive the Age Concern minibus.”

Canon Pat added that the small team of volunteers including three fully trained chefs - David Harvey, Stewart Ritchie and Gregg Findlay who prepare and cook the meal, are expected to cater for over 20 people this year.

“Thanks are due to everyone who will be helping “before or on the day, including Councillor Roger Guy has donated all of the refreshments to make sure the party goes with a swing!” he said.

FELLOWSHIP

Cupar councillor Margaret Kennedy, who has has supported the event since it began, said: “This event has been a success in terms of providing some with an ability to come together for fellowship and a good meal on Christmas Day, which they might not have ordinarily had.”

Canon Pat addded: “Everyone will enjoy the festive fare before we have some entertainment including a visit from Santa and singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas, in which we like everyone to become involved.

“The event usually lasts until about 3pm.”

Christmas is a busy time of the year for Canon Pat with two masses today (Friday), and two tomorrow and Sunday at Auchtermuchty and St Columba’s, but despite his busy schedule he said the Christmas dinner is always a lot of fun.

“One woman who has been coming from the first year we started, said the Christmas get-togethers have given her a new lease of life since her husband died,” he said.

“This event makes Christmas that little bit special for everyone who comes along.”

Councillor Poole, who has been involved with the Christmas dinner for the past four years said it’s important that no-one should be left on their own at this time of year.

He said: “I’m happy to lend a hand to Age Concern.

“Just as important is working with a group of local people all volunteering to give up some of their Christmas Day to make sure others also get a good Christmas.

“The only downside for me is that I have to sit through Canon Pat leading the carol singing, and if you’ve ever heard Canon Pat’s singing voice you’ll know what I mean!

“It’s a great service for local people great fun to be part of and Cupar Age Concern – staff, management committee and volunteers deserve full recognition from the local community.”

Age Concern will also remain open during the festive season and will serve lunches on December 28, 29 and 30 and on January 6 and 7.

Anyone who would like to go along to the Christmas lunch tomorrow can contact Anne Ronaldson at Age Concern, telephone 01334 653597 or Canon Pat on 01334 653000.