A DUMFRIES church has announced arrangements for those in need of support and a hot meal on Christmas Day.
The River of Life is used to welcoming visitors on December 25 for a service and Christmas lunch, however as is the case across the board this year, coronavirus restrictions prohibit their traditional plans.
But Pastor Mark Smith, alongside local chef Eddie Vallance and a team of dedicated volunteers, is ensuring that support and festive cheer can still be provided safely.
Outlining plans for next week, Mark said: “We plan to open the doors at 12 noon on the 25th with people coming in in small numbers, stopping for a coffee, mince pie and a quick, friendly chat before heading off with their meal in thermal packaging.
“We’re asking that everyone from a household who’d like a meal comes in person, so we can wish them a happy Christmas. We’re hoping to generate a friendly welcoming Christmassy atmosphere, so everyone catches the sense of the special day.”
River of Life will also be open from 6.30 pm on Christmas Eve to hand out food donated by local supermarkets to anyone who needs it.
And its regular Christmas morning service will be streamed online from 11 am at riveroflife.org.uk.
Mark added: “Many find Christmas Day difficult for a multitude of reasons – loneliness, bereavement, lack of money etc., but there’s no need to miss out; we’d love you to come along on the big day. More than anything, we guarantee a warm welcome to anyone and everyone on Christmas Day. We’ve got presents for all ages too!
“We’re deeply grateful to generous individuals and organisations who have helped make this possible – especially the Dumfries Lions Club and staff at Scottish Power’s Leafield Road offices.”
Anyone who’d like to support the event can do so by contacting Mark Smith on 07710 111727.