The third annual Parramatta Street Feast was held on Saturday 11 November, at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, Parramatta.
Community members gathered with those on the margins of society to share a meal, company and good conversations in a spirit of solidarity and friendship.
The event is a response to Pope Francis’ call to build a more inclusive, welcoming and generous society.
The Sydney Street Choir, members of which have all experienced homelessness or social hardships, entertained the crowd before and after lunch.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, said grace before the meal and the Vinnies Van served tea and coffee.
The shared meal prepared by St Merkorious Charity, a local organisation dedicated to serving the community, was a highlight of the event. As guests enjoyed their food they were entertained by a talented group of students from Cerdon College, Merrylands, who performed some of their favourite hits from popular artists such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.
And because it was held on Remembrance Day everyone paused in a minute of silence to pay their respects to those men and women from the armed forces who have died, or are currently serving our country.
Volunteers played a crucial role in ensuring the success of Street Feast, from setting up the tables and chairs, to serving food and assisting with cleanup. Many of them were from agencies helping out on the day, such as Catholic Care Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, St Vincent de Paul Society, House of Welcome, Thread Together, Jesuit Refugee Service, Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese, Community Migrant Resource Centre, Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, Mission Australia, Parramatta Mission and St John Ambulance.
The Street Feast was also attended by politicians from all levels of government, including Parramatta Lord Mayor Pierre Esber, federal member for Parramatta Andrew Charlton, and state member for Parramatta Cr Donna Davies.
The initiative was created in conjunction with the PAYCE Foundation, Paynter Dixon, St Merkorious Charity, the Kick Start Café and the Diocese of Parramatta.
View images from the Parramatta Street Feast here or below: