Fernhill House has teamed up with a local church to open its doors on Christmas day to local elderly people who would otherwise be spending the day alone.   

The home will be serving a five-course festive meal with wine to single and widowed over 65s living in the parish who are unable to spend the day with friends or family.   The guests are residents from around Claines, Barbourne and Fernhill Heath, who the local clergy have met through their pastoral care.   

The friendship room – a dining room specially designed for private events – will be open on December 25, with sherry or Bucks Fizz, Christmas carols and a warm welcome offered on arrival.   

Award winning chef Chris Williams and his team will provide traditional Christmas fayre and silly crackers at 1pm. The Fernhill House team will chat to the visitors before escorting them to one of the home’s sitting rooms to watch the Queen’s Speech, play games and meet some of the home’s residents.   The idea was dreamed up by home manager Peta Mandleberg who explained: “Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time for many people. 

Those living on their own – particularly if they are elderly or have lost a husband or wife – can find the day unbearable. We all know how damaging loneliness can be and don’t want to think that anyone living near our home should spend the day on their own. We are keen to involve the local community in many of our activities and often hold free events to which the wider public is invited.   

“We hope that this small gesture will go a long way towards helping people know that someone does care about them. Not only will they enjoy a really rather delicious meal - our chef is amazing - they’ll also get to meet new friends. And who knows, once they’ve met, that may be the beginning of a long lasting and beautiful friendship.   

“We are even arranging for our driver to collect the visitors and return them safely to their homes after the festivities.”   

Vicar of Claines St John’s and Saint George’s CE Worcester, the Revd Jo Musson, added: “I was so overwhelmed at the kindness of Peta’s offer that I was moved to tears when she first mentioned it to me. For me, this act of kindness and compassion reflects the true spirit of Christmas that Jesus demonstrated throughout his life: that we think of others before ourselves, and that we share what we have with those less fortunate.   

“The ladies and gentlemen who have already booked places are amazed at the generosity of the invitation, especially the taxi service! Some of them visited the dining room when our Quest Group for the bereaved met at Fernhill House last week. They told me it is like a 4* restaurant!”   

There are a few spaces left and if anyone knows of a local elderly person who might otherwise be alone on Christmas Day call Jo on 01905 780200 or email rev.jomusson@gmail.com. They don’t have to be a church goer to qualify!     

* The Revd Jo Musson who has teamed up with Fernhill House to offer Christmas lunch to single and bereaved over 65s who would otherwise be spending the day alone