Dumfries church offers free Christmas Day dinner for those in need

The River of Life Church near Dumfries Railway Station is inviting those who have nobody else to share Christmas with to attend their festive dinner on December 25.

Pastor of the church, Mark Smith, is sending a message to people who think they have nothing to look forward to, that there is hope.

He said: “Please don’t be miserable on Christmas Day – come along to a very warm welcome, some fantastic food plus some super entertainment, all for free.

“Let’s remember the festive season can be rotten for some people, when everyone seems to be having a fantastic time except you. Here, at River of Life, we always serve some great festive fayre but, equally important, a loving welcome to all without judgement and irrespective of faith or not.

Pastor Mark Smith, centre, with volunteers Eddie and Tracy Vallance. Picture: Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

“We’re so grateful to ordinary people and businesses in our region whose generosity makes this event possible. Thanks so much Dumfries! There’s a one hour service at 11am on Christmas Day too, so people are very welcome to that as well, or just arrive for the meal at 1pm if they’d rather.”

This year, the church will also be handing out parcels of food and gifts to people who go along to the dinner, to help them through the rest of the festive season and they’ve teamed up with communitychristmas.org.uk which lets people know what similar groups are doing around the UK.

This year will be the 13th Christmas Day dinner served at the River of Life and the 11th year professional chef, Eddie Vallance, has volunteered his services. He and his wife Tracy will be co-ordinating a team of excited volunteers all helping in a variety of ways.

• Full story at the Daily Record / Dumfries and Galloway Standard.