St. Joseph’s Deacon Dan Ritchie confirmed that church is returning with its annual community dinner for the first-time post-COVID. (Langley Advance Times files)

St. Joseph’s Deacon Dan Ritchie confirmed that church is returning with its annual community dinner for the first-time post-COVID. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley church returns with annual community dinner

Volunteers preparing full turkey dinner for about 250 people

Langley’s St. Joseph’s Church is returning with its annual community dinner for the first-time post-COVID.

On Christmas Day, the church at 20676 Fraser Hwy. is hosting its 28th annual community dinner for anyone who needs a warm and friendly place to enjoy a full meal.

The event is particularly aimed at feeding seniors who might be alone, people who are homeless, and people struggling financially, shared Deacon Dan Ritchie.

The free meal will include a full turkey dinner, coffee, tea and dessert.

In addition, the church has arranged entertainment and carol-singing inside the decorated hall. Seniors and those with mobility issues can request a free ride by calling the parish office before Dec. 21.

The dinner starts at 5 p.m., and doors open half an hour before.

Ritchie is once again expecting to welcome about 250 visitors for the community dinner this year.

He said the past two years were “harsh” on the community due to the COVID lockdown, but it is “gratifying” to return.

Though COVID-related restrictions will not be in place, the church will still take “necessary precautions,” and serve the food in three sittings to avoid overcrowding in the hall. About 100 volunteers will help the church prepare the dinner, provide rides, and serve the guests.

Iris Ramsdale, a longtime volunteer, said she is excited about the annual event and looking forward to serving the community.

“God has been so generous to me, so loving… bestowing his blessings on all of us. I just want to return that love to the community of Langley by serving the lonely, homeless and seniors who need a place to be on Christmas Day,” said Ramsdale.

Ritchie thanked volunteers for the church organizing the dinner.

“It has long been a labour of love for our parishioners who turn up every year to volunteer and give back to the community,” he said.

The church is accepting donations ahead of the Christmas dinner. Those looking to support can contribute gift cards to local grocers so that organizers can purchase required food items. For more information, people can call the parish office at 604-534-3303.

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RELATED: Rotary clubs partner with community to provide Thanksgiving dinner

READ MORE: VIDEO: One Table Langley dinner aims to counter negativity with community meal

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Is there more to the story? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

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