By Andy Dalton
Residents and shoppers are being offered some festive cheer with an environmental dimension in Armley in the week before Christmas.
Leeds City Mission, in Armley Town Street, are offering complimentary sprigs of holly free of charge to anyone who wants to deck their home along with their normal Christmas decorations. The natural green holly sprigs pruned from bushes provide an attractive, traditional, environmentally friendly decoration for the season.
Volunteers from the City Mission have been hard at work over the last few days selecting and cutting the sprigs for this seasonal initiative. Scratches from harvesting the holly have not deterred them from pruning scores of sprigs.
The volunteers hope that this seasonal decoration will bring a measure of joy at the end of what has been an anxious year for so many people as they reflect on the conflicts around the world.
The City Mission ‘Pop Up Christmas Charity Shop’ is open in the run up to Christmas Day. Volunteers have amassed a wide range of gifts and items for sale suitable for gifts and presents. These are being offered at bargain prices with something for everyone catering for a wide range of tastes and preferences. Free Christmas gift tags lovingly created from old Christmas cards are also on offer. They hope that people on restricted budgets will find this helpful as they seek to celebrate the season.
On Tuesday, 19 December at 12 noon the City Mission are organising a short Carol Sing for shoppers and local residents in their Mission Room. A thirty minute programme of traditional carols and readings concluding with seasonal refreshments will help people connect with the reason for the season.
Leeds City Mission Coordinator Andy Dalton said: “All people need to do is to call when the Mission Room is open and take any of the free gifts on offer – sprigs of holly and Christmas gift tags.
“Visitors will also enjoy the opportunity to pick up some last minute presents for Christmas. The carol singing session will be the opportunity to sing traditional carols with others.”
Anyone can call in at the Mission Room of Leeds City Mission next week before the Christmas holidays start. Hours of opening are Monday to Friday 10.30am–3pm (not Wednesday). There will also be a special opening sessions on the two Saturday mornings before christmas from 10am–1pm.
Leeds City Mission is a multi-church Christian agency which has worked with marginalised people since 1837 and seeks to meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of Leeds residents. More details on 0113 345 3118. Its Mission Room premises are located at the junction of Town Street and Mistress Lane (next door to Westerly Croft flats) in Armley.