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Portsmouth: Christmas Day parties for those in need

Churchgoers in Portsmouth will leave the comfort of their family celebrations on Christmas Day to offer roast dinners to the homeless and lonely.

Some 15 volunteers from Harbour Church, which is based in a refurbished department store in Portsmouth city centre, will throw a special Christmas Day party on December 25.
 
They’ll offer a safe haven to anyone who is lonely, homeless or vulnerable on Christmas Day, by opening their Harbour Coffee House to those in need.
 
The church was originally created in September 2016, and has launched multiple projects to help the local community, including pampering evenings for local women and care for ex-offenders.
 
Vicar the Rev Alex Wood said: “There's a lot of lonely people at Christmas time, and we want to provide a safe place for anyone to come. We'll be putting on the festive works – turkey, stuffing and cranberries – but mostly, we'll be offering a warm smile, genuine company, and a great time."
 
Also on Christmas Day, pioneer ministers the Revs Barney and Sara Barron, who serve those in the PO9 postcode, will do something similar. They’ll provide a full Christmas dinner, entertainment and games for those facing isolation or economic hardship.
 
The Christmas party happens in Park Community School in Leigh Park. It’s the second year that Barney and Sara have thrown such a party on Christmas Day. You can book your place via sarajb@hotmail.co.uk.
 
And volunteers will also organise a soup kitchen on Boxing Day at Charter Academy, the C of E secondary school in the heart of Portsmouth. They will offer a free breakfast between the hours of 10am and 12noon for those who are homeless.
 
Anyone who needs a hot meal, fresh toiletries and warm clothing for the cold nights is welcome. For more details, please contact Les at: l.latham@charteracademy.org.uk.
 
These are just some of the many Christmas events being run throughout the Church of England’s Diocese of Portsmouth. For details of carol services, Christmas worship and other events, see www.portsmouth.anglican.org/christmas

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