Newcastle Cathedral serves Christmas Dinner to those in Need

20th December 2023

Newcastle Cathedral opens its doors to offer a warm Christmas meal to all those in need in collaboration with the Changing Lives charity.

Newcastle Cathedral will open its doors this Christmas Eve in collaboration with the Changing Lives charity to serve a hot Christmas dinner to those in need.

This year the North East Changing Lives Christmas Meal Appeal will take place in the cathedral’s refectory, Café 16, run by the Oswin Project, offering a warm and festive meal in a welcoming environment, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can have a joyful Christmas celebration.

Local people and members of the cathedral community and beyond have been encouraged to donate £5 to the Changing Lives appeal so this year they can also make up essential food parcels and toiletry packs for those accessing the charity’s services.

Changing Lives and Newcastle Cathedral have worked in partnership before as part of the Cathedral’s Lantern Initiative, which draws inspiration from the building’s iconic Lantern Tower and aims to offer a radical welcome and a safe space of belonging to all those individuals and groups that have been judged or oppressed by wider society.

The Dean of Newcastle, the Very Revd Lee Batson, said:

“This latest collaboration between Changing Lives and Newcastle Cathedral reaffirms our commitment to being a beacon for those navigating challenging circumstances in life. 

“During Advent, the Cathedral plays a role in bringing people together from across the region and Diocese for various services and seasonal events, supporting our work in offering people a vision of a future better than the past.”

Newcastle cathedral serves Christmas dinner to those in need

Changing Lives began as a soup kitchen in the North East in 1970 and has grown into a nationwide charity helping people facing the most challenging circumstances make positive change. It supports people who are experiencing homelessness, unemployment, those in recovery or facing abuse or exploitation and helps them go on to live happy, independent, fulfilling lives.

With an increase in rough sleeping and a surge in the cost of living, Changing Lives has seen a growing demand for support.

Café 16 opened in the summer of 2021 as part of the Cathedral’s redevelopment and was supported by LNER’s Customer and Community Investment Fund. Staffed by a team of prison leavers, led, trained, and mentored by Northumberland charity the Oswin Project, the café provides individuals with an opportunity to learn new skills and find a new direction on release. 

Click here to find out more and support the Changing Lives appeal.