Christmas Cameo 2016


It’s a fantastic event every year.  I felt underdressed in my jeans and dog collar as everyone turned out in Christmas finery and every possible different kind of Christmas jumper.  Fred Haslam offered to rent his to me…I regretfully declined.

We are so fortunate to have such a great combination of wonderful leaders for this important ministry in the church in Lavinia and Nick Owen, fantastic cooks and helpers – so much work involved in cooking Christmas lunch for about 50 very grateful older residents.  It is great that we are also able to share Holy Communion in this way with many people who won’t manage to get to church over Christmas.  Revd Amanda Denniss led our service and preached (very appropriately) about ‘feasting’ in the Kingdom of Heaven!  I love the idea that heaven could be a feast even better than the CAMEO Christmas!


The turkey was truly sensational.  As was the veg and even four or five thermoses of gravy.  Then the mince pies and brandy butter and the wine (thank you Fred Haslam).  The decoration of the church, the Christmas tree and the amazing Christmas presents delivered by Father Christmas wearing a suit made decades ago by Jill Croft to entertain Chinese children in Hong Kong!

Father Christmas is required at Christmas Cameo to tell a joke and he did a good job of plucking something suitable out of his cavernous memory just in time…


Then there was the entertainment.  The choir from Itchen Abbas Primary School surpassed themselves, I think – singing beautifully and leading us in some carols.  Thank you so much to Mrs Dear the headmistress and to her colleagues and the wonderful young voices and to Rebecca Fardell for liaising with the school.

Thank you so much for a fantastic lunch to Lavinia and Nick and their team: Emily Windsor Aubrey, Sally Cannons, Susan Fatchen, Liza Hughes, Gerry Stacey, Charlotte Appleby, Sara Janssen, Fiona Stubbs, Gilly Greenwood, Jill Croft, Felicity Urquhart, Rosie and Andrew Salmond, Gail Mann, Joan and Rodney Dartnell, Oliver Denniss, Elizabeth Bouldin and Vernon Tottle.  All just fabulous.  Thank you all for your hard work!

Alex Pease


The Hazeldene Gardens crew!


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