A church will continue its 11-year-long tradition --- cooking dinner on the Chinese new year's eve for people who are unable to gather with their families.
Starting in 2004, Beimen Church, the largest church in Zhangzhou, in China's southeastern Fujian province, offers new year's eve meals to financially disadvantaged local residents, migrant workers, sanitation workers, lonely elderly people, and single men. At this special time they eat with the staff in the church and watch the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, an important part of the festival celebration.
The head of the church said that the number of the attendants for the dinner was only a dozen in 2004 but has increased year after year. This year about 300 people will join the dinner.
The church originates from a gathering founded in a glass factory on Easter of 2001. The gathering had about 30 believers at that time. With the rise in the number of the congregation, six warehouses were purchased and reconstructed into a church building in 42 days. The Sunday attendance increased to over 300.
In Sept 2010, a new facility with a floorplan of around 10,594 square meters (2.61 acres) held a ground-breaking ceremony and was put into use seven years later with a seating capacity of 5,000 people.
- Translated by Karen Luo