THE Year of the dragon was off to a flying start in Cirencester last weekend when volunteers and guests congregated for a celebratory supper.

Colourful lanterns hung from the ceiling while scarlet place mats and decorations adorned the dinner tables for a special Chinese New Year celebration in St Peter’s Parish Hall on Sunday, February 18.

The three-course meal was brimming with delicious food provided by Zen Chinese Takeaway, Mark’s Kitchen and The Market Garden.

Kind-hearted Community Kitchen volunteers have been hosting monthly free meals in the hall for anyone in need of a warm meal or fellowship. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Chinese New Year decoration in St Peter's Parish HallChinese New Year decoration in St Peter's Parish Hall (Image: Community Kitchen)

The dinners are organised and funded by parishioners from three churches - St Mary’s in Cricklade, St Peter’s in Cirencester and St Thomas’s in Fairford - in our area.

More than 50 guests enjoyed a mouth-watering feast of spring rolls, prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken, vegetable chow mein for mains plus chocolate-covered strawberries and fortune cookies for desert.

Meliny Tim of The Kitchen Club was in charge of cooking the savoury main dishes.

Guests scratched off lucky fortune cards and children played a game to win a Chinese red pocket envelope filled with chocolate coins. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Place mats and decoration laid out on the tables ahead of the Chinese New Year event Place mats and decoration laid out on the tables ahead of the Chinese New Year event (Image: Community Kitchen)

The group's next event will be a St Patrick’s Day supper on Sunday, March 17. 

Meanwhile, two dinners have been organised in April.

Attendees will be able to enjoy some succulent ribs at the American barbecue on Easter Monday and on Sunday, April 28 diners will be able to indulge in some fancy French cuisine.

All dinners will be held at St Peter’s Parish Hall in St Peter's Road, Cirencester and food will be served between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

Request to join the Community Kitchen in Cirencester Facebook page for more information.