The Salvation Army in Ripon is gearing up for a busy December which will culminate in a Christmas Day lunch at its Reach Out centre.
The festive period is the first for the corps under its new minister – Territorial Envoy Stephanie Ruddy – who started in the role in July and her assistant, corps co-ordinator Graham Pentelow, who joined the group recently.
Stephanie, who has been a primary school teacher as well as working for Ripon CVS and for Ripon Salvation Army as a youth and family worker, described the organisation as “a small church with a big heart”.
Pat Clark, the Salvation Army’s employment and resource centre manager, added: “Throughout December groups of corps folk will be standing with collecting boxes at supermarkets throughout the district.
“Please give what you can afford to support the community work and pay for the Christmas Day lunch and celebrations laid on at the Reach-Out Centre.
“Individuals, couples and families within Ripon district who would have difficulty providing their own Christmas meal or would be lonely on the day are invited to take part in Christmas Day with the Salvation Army.”
The lunch event, which includes entertainment, runs from 10.30am - 3pm, with the traditional three-course meal being served around noon.Transport, by private car, can be provided to and from home.
Three weeks before the Christmas meal, the Salvation Army will be holding its community carol service at Allhallowgate Methodist Church on Tuesday, December 3, at 7pm.
In addition to its activities for December, the corps’ regular community programme continues including: Sunbeams, a toddler’s group on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings; Lunch Club, open to all age groups,providing freshly cooked meals on Mondays and Thursdays; Young-at-Heart, a fortnightly friendship club for older people; and Kids Club every Wednesday after school.
Its social action programme includes a furniture project set up to supply low-cost household effects to those in need. Every month, except December, it holds a sale of furniture, bric-a-brac and other goods which have been generously donated by the community.
The Employment and Resource Centre is a drop-in for unemployed people or others seeking work. The ERC assists with job search, CV production and IT training.
lVolunteers are always welcome. For further details, including enquiries about the Christmas Day meal, telephone 01765 692657.