Christchurch mission’s 1000-person Christmas feast cancelled

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

Covid is forcing the cancellation of some Christmas events in Christchurch.

The annual Santa parade and the City Mission’s festive feast are off due to the restrictions proving too difficult to manage all the people who would normally attend.

Missioner Matthew Mark said 1000 people show up for lunch as well as 250 volunteers, and there’s no way they can socially distance.

He told 1News that it’s the first time the event won’t be held in 40 years.

“We know that for many people we’re serving, vaccinations aren’t near the level that we need them to be.

"So we’d then need to be discouraging people to come which isn’t what we want,” said Mark.

Instead hampers are being gifted to those in need, which will have the essentials as well as a few extra treats like ham, pavlova and jelly.

Bonnie Houston-Edwards, who is one of the helpers, said the lack of social interaction will be compensated with the parcels full of Christmas cheer.

The need for help has been increasing in Christchurch, with 9000 food parcels gifted last December to an expected 10,000 this year.