THERE will be a warm welcome for any Knighton residents on their own and without somewhere to go on Christmas Day this year, thanks to their local church.

St Edwards Church in the Radnorshire town will be throwing open the doors for any resident who may not be in the Christmas spirit as much as others.

The idea was introduced last year by vicar of St Edwards, Petra Goodband. The idea behind it was to help provide a meal for anyone on their own at Christmas, or people who might be struggling to deal with the financial pressures the festive period attracts.

This year, however, the wider community has got involved, with the main meal as well as puddings and sundries all being provided by local businesses or individuals.

Reverend Goodband said she and her partner John have been overwhelmed with offers of help this year, including from Malcolm Campbell, the head chef at the George and Dragon Inn. The pub is generously supplying the food for the main meal, while Malcolm will be kindly donating his time and cooking for whoever shows up.


“Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people. Some are alone and others may be facing financial burdens,” said Rev Goodband.

“Last year we put on a Christmas lunch for anyone who would rather not be alone. John cooked a wonderful meal, which included a turkey donated by a generous neighbour.

“This year we decided to open it up to more people. With the current financial climate we thought that we could save people some money by coming together for lunch.

“What we did not expect is the generosity that has been shown by Malcolm Campbell in agreeing to cook the main course and the George and Dragon, along with Malcolm, donating the food for the main course.

“We have had a donation of cheese and biscuits from Dean and Mel Fowkes from JD’s Café, as well as a sack of potatoes from a generous parishioner. Puddings are coming from another generous neighbour.”

Rev Goodband expressed joy about how local residents have come together to embody the true meaning of Christmas.

She added: “We have not had to ask for anything. People have approached us, which is extremely heartwarming.

County Times:  Petra Goodband, the vicar at Knighton's St Edwards Church, said she has been overwhelmed by the offers of help for the festive feast. Petra Goodband, the vicar at Knighton's St Edwards Church, said she has been overwhelmed by the offers of help for the festive feast. (Image: Google Street View/Petra Goodband)

“The kindness that is being shown is exactly what Christmas is about: Loving our neighbour.

“We are so grateful for the support and look forward to bringing some Christmas cheer and love to whoever comes and joins us on Christmas Day.”

The festive feast is sure to spread some joy, with Malcolm and the George and Dragon earning rave views locally, and from further afield, for their food since he arrived in the kitchen earlier this year, totally revitalising the menu.

In September we reported how the pub’s menu was going 100 per cent gluten free, with ex-Army catering officer and award-winning chef Malcolm believing this would make the venue unique in Wales.

He has been a head chef for over 30 years and represented the British Forces at various national and international competitions, winning three culinary medals.

Malcolm has been head chef at the Broad Street pub since April, which is when the pub reopened having been closed around a year.