Albany’s free community luncheon shares the spirit of Christmas

Headshot of Liam Croy
Liam CroyAlbany Advertiser
Steve and Karen Marshall.
Camera IconSteve and Karen Marshall. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

A smorgasbord of food and Christmas spirit is being prepared for hundreds of guests ahead of Albany’s Free Community Christmas Luncheon

Run in Albany since 2005 by Steve and Karen Marshall, the luncheon is open to anyone.

Mr Marshall, the pastor at Grace and Glory Ministries International, said he was expecting a record crowd of about 400 people at the Albany PCYC this year.

“The need that we see in society today is great than I’ve ever seen,” he said.

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“It’s not just about people struggling, the pressure on them to be able to survive is even higher.

“When we started here n 2005, it was predominantly people from Albany.

“Now it has spread throughout the Great Southern. We’ve got people from Walpole right across to Esperance. We’ve got Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe, Bremer Bay, Jerramungup, right up to Katanning.

“We’ve got a couple coming down from Kalgoorlie and one or two from Perth.”

The Marshalls start planning for the annual luncheon in the middle of the year, with preparations now in full swing.

The food will be prepared at venues across Albany, including IGA, Due South and the Albany Club.

Gift packs are being put together for all children who attend the luncheon, packed with presents donated by local individuals and businesses.

Mr Marshall stressed the luncheon was open to people from all walks of life.

“We don’t really care what the reason is — there is always a seat at the table,” he said.

“Sometimes, some of the most wealthy people are the most miserable people at Christmas time. It can be an absolute mongrel of a time for some people.

“I think everyone goes away from it with a smile because for one day of the year, everyone drops their nonsense.

“They drop their prejudices, they drop their ego, all of that stuff goes out the door and everyone’s equal on the day. . . my view is that if we can do that for one of the year, why can’t we do that every day of the year?

Guests are encouraged to register online for planning purposes but walk-ins are welcomed.

Visit christmasluncheon.org.

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