Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beer Festival in a Church

This from the Church Times

Clergy from Holy Trinity Hull, one of the largest churches in England, plan to hold monthly Sunday services in the pub The Mission; and, in April, the nave of Holy Trinity will become a bar for a three-day real-ale festival.

The pub is in a converted Seafarers’ Mission, and has a spire, stained-glass windows, and pulpit. It will be “a pub in a church and a church in a pub”, the Priest-in-Charge of the Grade I listed church, the Revd Dr Neal Barnes, said.

“It’s the idea of our Pioneering Minister, Matt Woodcock, who’s here to reimagine how the church should be in the 21st century. A lot of people have difficulty going into a church for some reason; so we thought: ‘Why not go into a place which is more familiar, where they are more at home?’ It will be a livelier, less formal service, and could include a band, videos, guest speakers, and refresh­ments — but no alcohol.”

I wonder why not? Apart from licensing laws, would the odd pint be a problem? After all, many medieval monasteries functioned primarily on beer, drunk supposedly because it was less likely to do you mischief than the questionable local water supply. Mind you, the result of a Europe of sozzled monks was the Reformation. And Leffe. So on balance all worth it.

Meanwhile there are plans for the beer festival:

Dr Barnes is preparing for the arrival of about 100 beers and ciders in his church for the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA’s) festival in the spring.

“We are primarily a place of wor­ship, looking to give people spiritual sustenance, but we feel very much that we should be blessing the community and opening up the church,” he said. “So we have got a succession of different events: a fashion show, a music festival, a Christmas fair, concerts, and exhibi­tions.

“They are all ways we can invite people into the building to interact with it — not just in a spiritual sense, but also in a cultural and community way. It will not clash with services, and there will still be spaces for people to come in for prayer and quiet.”

I'd hope there are also places for raucous singing and hugging of best mates. Wonder if Prezza will be pulling the first pint?

1 comment:

  1. I'll definitely be going to the beer festival!