THE Christmas period is a time of enjoying with friends and family, but for some it can also be a difficult and lonely time.
It’s for this reason that a local Ammanford church has arranged free dinners every year on December 25th since the very first one in the 1990s and they have gone from strength to strength ever since.
This shows the true Christmas spirit with people giving up their own time to help others less fortunate and make the day happier after what has been a difficult year.
Organised annually by Ammanford Evangelical Church for the last three decades, the Community Christmas Day meal has provided food and friendship and has welcomed guests of all ages and backgrounds from the town and surrounding villages.
Having been held at Ammanford Pensioners Hall in the heart of the town centre for many years, Llandybie Memorial Hall opened its doors on Christmas Day 12 months ago and saw guests who would have been spending the festive celebrations alone enjoy a free meal, each other’s company, entertainment and carol singing.
This year, because of COVID-19 restrictions, it was not possible to get together in the hall as in previous years on Friday lunchtime. Instead, the church wanted to continue to love and care for neighbours and the wider community in the Amman Valley in an alternative way.
The Coopers Arms pub in Betws prepared seventy two-course dinners with all the trimmings for those in the community who would otherwise go without on the special day.
The dinners were collected and delivered to other households by more than 40 volunteers. Each person was also given a gift, mince pies and chocolates to wish them a very Merry Christmas.
Sammy Davies, Pastor of Ammanford Evangelical Church commented: “It’s amazing that this Christmas, when so much has had to change, that so many people have pulled together to carry on this wonderful tradition of looking out for and looking after each other over Christmas.
“How we celebrate has changed because of the pandemic but we’ve just been given an opportunity to think of new ways to show love and care for our neighbours.” The free Community Christmas Meal organised by Ammanford Evangelical Church will return in 2021.
Photos: Nathan Jones (Pre Covid-19)