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Christmas cheer to share around

Pastor Pete Hampson says there’s always room at Masterton’s annual community Christmas celebration, and the Masterton Community Church [MCC] and Trust House are preparing for a busy day on December 25.

Room at the Inn – which is well into its third decade – has experienced its own trials and tribulations over the years, including the covid-19 pandemic forcing organisers to adapt quickly and home-deliver meals instead of putting on the usual shared lunch.

But this year the free event is thankfully open once again for “all people or families in need of Christmas love and community”.

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell is set to make an appearance, with Wairarapa MP Mike Butterick expected to lend a helping hand in the kitchen.

Hampson says the heart of a community is caring for one another and Room at the Inn is a “place where people can come be part of that community”.

The lunch allows for members of the community to come together and do something as simple as sit down and talk, and each attendee is given a nametag so that they can get to know their meal ‘neighbours’.

Ultimately the event isn’t focused on the food, though, but instead on fostering community spirit, and there will be entertainment from local performers and a bouncy castle for the children.

Hampson says there have been several instances where previous attendees have offered their help in following years, and he has also been heartened to see families with teenagers volunteering their time on Christmas Day.

“They’re teaching kids that it’s better to give than to receive,” he said.

MCC also runs the weekly community kai nights and Hampson said they have noticed the number of people coming along rising as the cost of living increases.

Room at the Inn has no registration system this year and organisers are prepared for a large turnout.

“I’m kind of expecting that we’ll get more numbers turning up here,” Hampson said.

Hampson wants to especially thank Trust House for all its support and help with facilitating the event over the years.

Waiwaste will be supplying some of the kai, New World Masterton is donating fruit and vegetables for the day, and any leftovers will be packaged up for people to take home with them.

If you or your family wish to join Room at the Inn, there is no registration required.

It will be held at the Trust House Recreation Centre [2 Dixon St, Masterton] and doors open at 11.30am with lunch served shortly after midday.

The businesses that have sponsored or supported the event this year are: Belgravia Leisure; Breadcraft; Masterton District Council; New World Masterton; Ten O’clock Cookie; Trust House; Wairarapa Laundry; Wairarapa Times-Age; and Wee Red Barn.

Weekend Markets

Markets in Masterton, Carterton, and Featherston will be running this weekend with local produce, baking, and plenty of Christmas treats available.

    Wairarapa Farmers Market, Solway Showgrounds. Tomorrow, 9am to 1pm.

    Featherston Weekly Market, 33 Fitzherbert St. Tomorrow, 8am to 1.30pm.

    Carterton Farmers Market, Memorial Square. Sunday, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

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