I’ve eaten a festive lunch – 2 weeks ago!

Mayor Ray Berry
Mayor Ray Berry

From the White House with Ray Berry, Mayor of Leighton-Linslade

They say ‘Christmas comes but once a year’ – and this year I am becoming deeply thankful for that.

This has to be the busiest time in my diary and, despite it still being November as I write, I have already eaten my first Christmas Lunch, courtesy of the Buckinghamshire Freemasons (before you ask, it’s the Linslade Lodge’s historical name!), at the rugby club with the local residents of our sheltered housing – and that was some two weeks ago!

My fundraising continues apace, with the excellent Rock of Ages/Calamity’s Fling gig at the Baptist Church earning over £400 for my charities – my thanks to everyone involved.

I’m now preparing a second draw, for at least two hampers sourced from various local traders, and I hope to be drawing that by the weekend before Christmas, so please keep your eyes open for the tickets and give generously. I do hope to be able to collect sufficient money to allow me to make smaller donations to other charities beyond the three that I have named so far.

In the festive build-up, I’m particularly looking forward to my Charity Christmas Concert which we’ll be holding at All Saints’ Church on Saturday, December 13 at 7.30pm. Entry is by ticket at £3, available from the town council offices, Selections Hardware in the High Street, and the church, although the price does include mulled wine and a mince pie afterwards. The collection, taken during the concert, will be shared between the church and my charities. Oh, and do feel free to dress up for Christmas – I shall!

As we move towards the holiday, can I ask you all to pause for breath and remember what we are actually celebrating? And whilst you do that, please, to think also of all those people who will not be with their families for the holiday – our Armed Forces either on active service throughout the world or on duty maintaining our security at home, our emergency services and medical teams, and our care workers to name but a few.

On behalf of both Val and myself, I wish you and all your families a safe and Happy Christmas.