A church will host a free Christmas Day lunch for anyone who will be spending it alone. 

Stretford and Urmston Methodist Churches will hold the meal at Sevenways Methodist Church, on Barton Road in Stretford, at noon for "anyone by themselves on Christmas Day."

The group, part of a collection of Methodist churches in the borough of Trafford, are based in Urmston, Davyhulme, Flixton, Stretford and Gorse Hill.

Rev Ian Kemp is the superintendent minister of the church of 15, who left behind a career in business technology to build a community of faith within the Trafford district.

Church worker Rachael Bate said: “Christmas can be a tough time for people, financially emotionally, and physically”.

It is estimated that 8 per cent of people will be spending Christmas alone this year, with 14 per cent of them being over the age of 65.

Rachael added: “You can come and chat with others or just eat your dinner and go home – whatever makes the day a bit easier for you."

This will be the second year the event has taken place, with 2022's lunch welcoming 18 attendees.

Rachael said: "I set it up as part of my job but, if someone else did it, I may have volunteered anyway."

She explains that her family hosted something similar when she was younger, in a different part of the country and it stuck with her. 

Rachael applies for funding each year to ensure she can hold 'Meet and Eat' sessions. 

The free lunch has been funded by Greater Manchester Charity for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).

GMVCO, founded in 1975,  “works to drive economic and social inclusion in Greater Manchester through effective collaborations and supporting other organisations to achieve their goals”.

Anyone wanting to attend must contact Rachael on 07483 127903 by Saturday 16 December.

Further information can be found on the Church’s website.