Bloxham residents, schools and churches came together on Christmas Day to give 41 fellow villagers a festive meal, presents and companionship.
Bee Myson and Pud Hawkins, both of Bloxham, wanted to provide an opportunity for people of any age who wished to celebrate Christmas in company to come together on the special day.
The event, held at Bloxham Baptist Church, was a true illustration of the Christmas spirit and was made possible by the involvement over 100 people, support from local churches and neighbouring villages, and both the Warriner and Bishop Loveday Schools, who made crafts and cakes to raise funds.
The lunch was generously funded by The Bloxham Feoffees, Bloxham Parish Council and Bloxham Lunch Club in addition to private donations and support from local businesses.
Preparations for the meal began seven months ago a by a core group of volunteers who planned the funding, found a venue and put the wheels in motion.
Eventually the Christmas Day meal featured a three-course, home-cooked menu dreamt up by Andy Ellis, carols, mince pies, music, table entertainment, a raffle and the Queen’s Speech to round it off.
Guests also took presents and Christmas cake home, as well as a ‘doggy bag’ if they wished to enjoy something later.
Bee Nyson said: “We were blown away by the offers of help and support. It has been a huge pleasure to work with such creative and willing helpers and to harness the many and diverse skills within our community.
“We believe that part of the reason that this was so much appreciated by our guests was because the helpers lavished care and love in everything they did, often going the extra mile to make everyone welcome.”
The lunch was proceeded by a cake sale with homemade cakes, puddings and raffle prizes which had also been donated.
Several of the attendees said that if they had not come to this lunch, they would have spent Christmas alone with a number said ‘it was the best Christmas ever’.
Bee said: “It has also been wonderful to see so many of our younger generation giving their time and skills on the day from music- making to table tricks, decorations, baking, serving and hospitality.”
Organisers are hoping to put on a similar community initiative during the year and if there is demand and support, another Christmas lunch.