Natasha and Anita are Redemptorist Youth Ministers have joined forces with Woolton Community Life, St Peter's and St James to organise a Christmas Meal for those who are alone. In this article that Natsasha wrote for BE Alive she explains the background and descibes the first fund raiser which will feature Benchmark (made up from musicians at Bishop Eton)

Christmas Meal 2018 for those who are alone

Christmas day can be difficult for a lot of people - squabbling families, getting in to debt, or not being able to find that perfect outfit for the Christmas party. For some people, however, the greatest difficulty around the most wonderful time of the year can be how utterly lonely that one day can be.

There will be people in our community who will spend Christmas 2018 completely alone. Perhaps you might be able to think of one of them. Perhaps you are one of them. Loneliness has been described as the greatest illness in our wealthy community. 

The Redemptorist youth ministry team have decided to put on a Christmas day meal for all of those who will be alone on Christmas day. The day will not be a day of charity. It's a way to reintegrate people in our communities who may not have family left in the area. It's a way to come together to share, to laugh, and to make friends. It's not just for the poor, or the homeless, it doesn't even matter if you're a millionaire - it's not about money, but rather about companionship. It's also not just for Catholics, and not just for those living in the parish. We're thrilled to announce that from this small idea (the brain child of my thoughtful colleague Anita!), we have joined up with Woolton Community Life, St Mary's, St James' and St Peter's, and have begun to secure funding from local businesses and politicians. 

One way we hope to raise funds is on our fundraiser evening on Friday 20th April, from 7pm. The widely acclaimed parish band Benchmark will be providing the evening's entertainment, and dinner and dessert are included in the £10 ticket price (£8 for children). We've got some really brilliant raffle prizes (including a signed Everton shirt) and I'll be playing shopkeeper at our high end gift boutique on the night! It promises to be an evening of fun, and is a great event to spend time with family, friends, and get to know people from the parish. 

If you would like to come to the fundraiser evening, please call in to the monastery to buy a ticket, or email  . Also, email us if you'd like a place at the Christmas meal - we've got big plans for it, so would love to save you a seat!

- Natasha Pritchard, Redemptorist Youth Ministry.