A great big thank you for the Shipston Community Christmas Lunch
Shipston once again hosted a Christmas party to remember for those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. Now in its third year, volunteers were out in force once again to create a memorable day for everyone.
Approximately 150 joined the celebrations, 100 of whom would otherwise have been alone. The tables were laid for 90 people, with some eating on the go as they were busy getting stuck in to help. A winning combination of music from the Town Band, wonderful food and drink, a raffle, presents and Father Christmas resulted in a day of celebration.
The event has grown in popularity so much that it has been putting Shipston on the Midlands map. A few days before Christmas, BBC Midlands News features a piece about the Community Christmas, including an interview with lead organiser, Tessa Hince, recorded in the town centre. The lunch attracted people from Banbury, Chipping Campden and Stratford as well as residents from Shipston.
One guest wrote to say “Thank you very much for making a cloudy day a sunny day, I really enjoyed myself and the company”.
Another said “This was my first Christmas without my husband and I wanted to say how amazing it was and how much of a great time I had.”
One guest was seen leaving with another - they actually live close to each other in Shipston but had never met.
Tessa Hince, said: “I would love to thank the members of our committee, Kate King and Russell Critchlow who put so much work into the organisation in the run up to the day. Alex Clarke spent four days in the hall decorating it and making it look absolute fantastic! A special mention must go to Nicola Hazleton who baked some sausage rolls for the team setting up and brought them down for us!
“Chefs June Empson, Andy Lipp and Dan Scobie made sure the three course traditional dinner went out without a hitch. One lady told me it was to the standard of high-end restaurant food!”
But the thank yous don’t end there.
“I would really like to say a huge thank you to the community of Shipston that rallied around and made the event possible.” Tessa added.
Particular thanks go to:
Kate Judd for providing many items from the event’s shopping list and Mark Davies for providing the turkeys.
Local businesses for their donations: Taste of the Country (soup),) Turners (vegetables) and Meg Rivers Artisan Bakery (cake for dessert).
Huge thank you to Shipston Primary School for making Christmas cards for the guests.
Lots of members of the community also baked fresh cakes and many donated raffle prizes and presents as well as decorations and Christmas trees!
The event was also supported by the Townsend Hall, Shipston Rotary Club, St George’s Church in Darlingscote, Shipston High School, Hillers Farm Shop, Bookers in Warwick, Ivy Heart, E H Spencer, Venture 4x4, Station Road Garage, North Cotswold Brewery, Wendy Betteridge, Fosseway Hire and Hilary Bryan Catering.
Mayor, Ian Cooper, said: “The extensive list of thank yous just shows how many people and businesses in our community are prepared to do their bit to help others. I thoroughly enjoyed joining the celebrations and I would like to add my thanks to everyone who contributed to making Shipston’s Community Christmas Lunch another success – particularly Tessa and the organising committee.”