Celebrations mark a year of togetherness

March 2012

Dozens of regular guests and volunteers joined Parish Priest, Father Michael Campion recently in raising a toast to their 'special' lunch club on its first anniversary.

St Mary's Lunch Club is held every week in St Mary's Church in Newton Aycliffe and welcomes around 20 local people who are elderly, isolated or lonely and who have become detached from their community.

Set up by St Mary's Catholic Church in partnership with St Cuthberts Care, the Lunch Club is run entirely by volunteers who provide a hot meal, refreshments and a range of fun and enjoyable activities. Most importantly, the Lunch Club is a place where people can come together to form new and lasting friendships.

Mary Mooring and her husband, Derek, who are both 81 years old, started coming to the Lunch Club last summer and haven't missed a single week since. "We've made lots of new friends here," said Mary. "We both love coming to the Lunch Club; it's such a good idea there should definitely be more of them."

As everyone gathered to mark 12 special months of companionship, friendship and strengthened bonds with the local community, Father Campion added his thanks to everyone involved. "I'm thrilled with the success of the Lunch Club," he said "and I'm particularly grateful to all the parishioners who have come together to offer such an outstanding service to the community, especially those who are isolated or lonely. I would like to thank St Cuthberts Care for making it all possible."

St Mary's Lunch Club is open to all members of the local community and is held every Thursday between 11am and 2pm in St Mary's Church on Burn Lane, Newton Aycliffe. The Lunch Club costs just £3 per person. Anyone who would like to know more or wishes to come along should ring 01325 313 611.