All you need to know about the free Christmas Day lunch taking place in Aylesbury

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury
St Mary's Church, Aylesbury

For more than 20 years, a Christmas Day lunch has taken place at St Mary's Church.

This event is being organised for the 14th time by Kim Walter and is open to anyone who is otherwise facing the prospect of Christmas Day alone, or just wants to do something a bit different for Christmas Day 2018.

Angie Young, ASDA community champion presents a cheque to Kim and Paul Walter, organisers of Aylesbury's community Christmas lunch

Angie Young, ASDA community champion presents a cheque to Kim and Paul Walter, organisers of Aylesbury's community Christmas lunch

Kim said: "It is open to everyone and free of charge.

"There is no need to pre-book, you can just turn up on the day.

"We cater for about 120 people and have 70 volunteer helpers assisting us on the day so it is a big operation."

Before Kim took over organising the event visitors had to pay for their lunch but now thanks to Kim's tireless fundraising efforts in the year building up to it there is no charge.

Kim said: "This year ASDA donated £1,000 towards the event and we are very grateful for that.

"I fundraise throughout the year towards the running costs - by stalls in the town centre, any way I can really."

The church also held its annual quiz night and traditional fish and chip supper which raised another £800 towards the organisation of the festive lunch.

Everyone who attends gets a three course meal including traditional Christmas dinner which is cooked on Christmas Day morning by a team at Aylesbury College.

After the meal guests are treated to entertainment courtesy of a ukelele band and a rock choir, before Santa comes to visit.

Kim explained why she decided to take on leadership of such a massive operation.

She said: "I was already doing some volunteer work with the church and when the previous person stood down from running the day I decided to offer myself for the role.

"I was fed up with the commercialisation of Christmas and wanted to do something that would help others.

"It is very satisfying when you sit down in the evening and have your dinner and think of the difference you have made to the people that came - that to me is what Christmas is all about."

The lunch event runs from 12noon to 3pm and transport can be arranged if required.

Last year's event was enjoyed by 110 guests with the help of 73 volunteers who help with setting up, meeting and greeting, serving, waiting and waitressing, clearing up, washing up and generally assisting.

If you have been involved in helping with the St Mary's Christmas Day lunch or know someone whose Christmas Day has been made better by them attending please share your stories with us by e-mail - neil.shefferd@jpress.co.uk.