The spirit of Christmas was alive and well at this year’s Hope Kitchen annual festive meal.
Around 30 invited guests enjoyed the meal at the town centre-based soup kitchen in Wellington Square Baptist Church on December 10.
This year the guests were joined by Hastings Mayor councillor Bruce Dowling and deputy mayor Cllr Judy Rogers
The food was funded and prepared by members of the Darvell Community, a Christian group based in Robertsbridge.
Guests were also joined by other local volunteers from churches across the Hastings area who regularly help at Hope Kitchen.
The Salvation Army band led the carol singing, and guests were encouraged to choose which carols they wanted to sing.
Reverend Chris Sears MBE, who has worked with the homeless for more than 40 years, gave a short talk on the meaning of Christmas and how such good news can impact everyone today.
Each guest was given a Christmas gift bag of goodies at the end of the evening, which contained useful items such as thermal hats, socks, gloves, toiletries, stationary, and sweets.
For many of those who attended it could be the only Christmas present they receive this year.
George Hornsby, one of the trustees of the Hope Kitchen, said: “We have been running the Christmas dinner for 10 years. It’s for the homeless, those struggling with life and lonely people as well.
“They really appreciate it and look forward to coming into the kitchen.
“It is a bit of a change for them and they get to come in and speak to people - it’s somewhere to come and feel welcome.
“The food is prepared by the Darvell Community to whom we are very grateful. The spirit of Christmas is really alive in this event.
“The Salvation Army played a variety of Christmas carols and everyone joined in.
“Mayor Bruce Dowling and his deputy enjoyed their meal and helped make it a very enjoyable and successful meal for all.”
Hope Kitchen is a registered charity in the centre of Hastings providing soup evenings twice a week. It is open Thursday and Saturday evenings and welcome anyone over 18 to have some soup and sandwiches, a hot drink and a chat.
Its aim is to provide a warm, dry and safe place to have something to eat and drink but also to offer advice and support in a welcoming and friendly environment. It can advise on where further help can be obtained and has good links with other local agencies. For more information visit www.hopekitchenhastings.org.uk