St Peters in the City opens doors on Christmas Day

Photo: Reverend Enosa Auva’a in the kitchen prepping vegies for the St Peters free community Christmas dinner. Photo David Hall.

“It’s really lush, it’s really cool.”

It’s St Peters in the City free community Christmas dinner.

An army of volunteers gathered for this year’s annual community Christmas Day dinner held at St Peters in the City church last night.

Feeding hundreds of people requires the efforts of dozens of caring volunteers, and this year a team of more than 100 rallied to help make sure things happened, the celebrations ran smoothly and no one missed out on a meal.

This year more than 200 guests sat down to a scrumptious feast of roast chicken, roast lamb, ham, roast vegetables, salads and lashings of gravy.

And the dessert menu included pavlova, Christmas pudding and meringues, with plenty of icecream.

Another 50 packed Christmas meals were being delivered to the elderly, and to others who could not make it to the church for the evening meal.

Newly appointed Reverend Enosa Auva’a said most of the food had been donated with " awesome” support from local businesses, individuals and charities, which included the Good Neighbour charitable trust.

Others had donated money, including Tauranga Boys’ College and Craig Investments Limited, and the college also provided the free use of the school van to enable some of the diners to be picked up and dropped off at the church, he said.

St Peters in the City church Reverend Enosa Auva'a and his wife Felicity overseeing the 2022 annual free Christmas Day dinner. Photo / Sandra Conchie

“This was the first time I have been involved in the free community dinner celebrations and it’s very exciting and special event for me, our team of volunteers, and all our guests.”

Rev Enosa said every week on a Tuesday the church hosted a meal for 40 to 45 needy people, and those people were among the guest list for the Christmas day festivities.

“St Peters in the City has been doing this for very long time and it’s a special way for our church community and all the other volunteers to show their support to the elderly, single parents and families, homeless and others who would otherwise miss out on a Christmas meal.

“We see events like this as our way of reaching out to share a bit of joy and fellowship with people who would otherwise miss out at this time of the year.”