Friends and family gather for Christmas Day at Wycliffe

For many, the prospect of cooking Christmas dinner for a nuclear family is enough to bring out a fever – and a rash of spreadsheets as they look to get all the timings right. But imagine if you had to turn out a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for 80?

That’s exactly what a member of an east Reading church did for Christmas Day as she and members of her family cooked up an impressive turkey lunch in Wycliffe Baptist Church.

The event has become an annual tradition and brings together families, people who would otherwise be on their own and elderly togetehr for a festive afternoon of fun.

As adults enjoyed chatter between courses, youngsters played games. There were people dressed up in Santa outfits and festive ear-rings and several nationalities were represented.

Debbie Lambie, who organises lunch clubs at the Kings Road church throughout the year and was delighted that her latest meal has been a huge success.

She said: “Lots of people came; it’s just wonderful. People have been able to come to celebrate Christmas together.

“We’ve had all the trimmings: turkey, piggies in blankets, sprouts, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and lashings of gravy.”

And she estimated her portion sizes well as there was little left over – which will then be reused for a soup meal she’s planning for next week.

Debbie explained: “We’ve got a little bit left over but I’ll turn that into soup. We’re going to have a little get together on New Year’s Ever during the day for people who aren’t going anyway.

“If people want to come they can come from 2.30pm-6pm. You can relax with nice soup and mince pies.”

As well as the lunches, Debbie also organises popular coach trips to destinations including London Zoo and Bournemouth Beach. She believes that it’s important to get together in this way.

She said: “I just believe that God wants us all to be together as one big family and it really cheers people up to be around people. We’ve had a lovely time together [today]. [We’ve been] sharing memories and giving people something to look forward to. It’s lovely.

Debbie’s Jacket Potato cafe runs at Wycliffe Baptist Church, Kings Road on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12.30pm, and a men’s lunch is at the church on Tuesdays. Everyone is welcome.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 December 2014 20:22