GUEST VIEWPOINT: lunch club is an ‘unspoken success’

Guest columnist Brian Fretwell
Guest columnist Brian Fretwell

I visited St Mary’s Lunch Club at Eastwood’s St Mary’s Church recently to meet Margaret and Christine.

Margaret founded a lunch club at Horizon Church at Hill Top in the town many years ago and due to closure came to St Mary’s approximately two years ago at the request of the church.

St Mary's Lunch Club

St Mary's Lunch Club

And it has been going strong and gathering more members ever since.

It is one of Eastwood’s little, unspoken successes. They have a dedicated team of ten volunteers and meet each Tuesday from 12 midday to 1.30pm. There is a low-cost main meal of £3 per head with tea or coffee included:

On the day of my visit this was the printed menu:

A mouth-watering roast turkey and stuffing; sausage, mashed potatoes, roast parsnips and Brussel sprouts.

Jacket potatoes with tuna or cheese at £2.50;

Apple and rhubarb crumble will cost you a further £1 and there is a diabetic, sugar -free alternative. Members may help themselves to water or squash.

Unfortunately, owing to sponsor cuts, they cannot now offer a collection service for the disabled, so members have to arrive under their own steam. After the meal there is a programme of sing-a-long music and all ages are welcome.

There are also bric-a-brac tables. The club is especially keen to attract lonely people, who for various reasons have little company, and who would otherwise feel cut off and out of touch. St Mary’s Lunch Club also arranges outings to interesting places and will shortly be visiting Llandudno in Wales.

The club does take a break for the month of August.

At present there are 40 members and there is still room for more. Anyone interested can contact Priest in Charge of St Mary’s Parish Church, the Rev David Stevenson by telephone on 01773 710770. People can pick up a free copy of St Mary’s Church LifeSigns magazine, visit or,