AFTER months of planning and negotiation, the city's Christmas lunch will go ahead this year at Hope Church, but with restrictions in place.
Organiser Barney Rumble has spent months trying to work out if and how the event can go ahead and confirmed on Friday they have been given the go ahead, albeit with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
Mr Rumble said in alignment with social distancing requirements, this year there will be a maximum of 100 guests at the function, and a maximum of 30 volunteers. Last year about 220 people attended.
He said it had been a difficult few weeks trying to establish if they could even hold the event, and he is pleased to say it will be going ahead.
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"At one stage they maximum number was going to be 65, and I was going to call it," he said.
"But we've managed to get it up and running, and will be able to have 100 guests and 30 volunteers," he said.
With the restricted numbers, Mr Rumble said it will be a case of first in best dressed, and all attendees must book for the luncheon through the Bathurst Information Neighbour Centre, to ensure the event is COVID compliant.
Another change to this year will be no pick ups prior to and delivery home after the event.
In year's gone by volunteers have provided those without transport a way to get to the function, but sadly this year, that is not available.
"I just can't put my volunteers at risk," Mr Rumble said.
The event is a proud tradition in the city, which began over 30 years ago.
In its first year the luncheon had about 40 guests, last year there were over 220 people.
He said the idea behind the lunch is to make sure no one spends Christmas Day alone.
Over the years his band of volunteers as well as the generosity from the community has enabled the lunch to go ahead.
"People donate goodies, presents for the kids, hams, drinks and food and that's what we need again this year," Mr Rumble said.
"Whether it's food, a toy, wrapping paper, bonbons, any type of Christmas fare would be great."
"We are always after new toys for the kids and anything to put on the Christmas table, whether its a drink, nibbles or bonbons," he said.
But he stressed due to the circumstances faced by the community this year, the event must be compliant with Covid requirements and anyone wanting to attend must RSVP to BINC.
Register by calling the Neighbourhood Centre on 6332 4866.
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