In this, the year of our Lord 2017, the most popular churches do not have steeples and pulpits. They have pokies, and happy hours, and vomit-stained carpets. They have grog. Pour it, and the people will come.
Reverend Ian Dyble knows. He just bought the pub next door to St Thomas’s Church in Norwich, England, in a bold attempt to win back the souls of society’s drunks at large.
“I remember thinking what a good idea it was to engage in the community in that way, because as we all know, people’s interest in church is waning. It’s a way for us to reach out into the community,” he said.
That way being to coax the non-believers in with the promise of booze, get them liquored up and whisper sweet nothings about God and salvation into their ears. But Dyble claims that’s only partly what this ~new age~ place of wet-whistle worship – dubbed ‘The Mitre’ – is all about.
“It’s also for people’s perception of the Church to be changed. I would hope it would be a pleasant surprise for people. Jesus turned water into wine, he did it at a wedding party.”
Jesus is the archetypal Lord of party, is what he means, and the church-pub mashup – ideally resplendent with holy spirits and bottles of Christ’s blood – a fitting shrine to his kingdom of unadulterated debauchery.
“It’s not about drinking,” though. “It’s about doing things for enjoyment rather than addiction and it’s about being responsible.
“Christians can have fun – I don’t think there’s any reason why we can’t enjoy it responsibly.”
Very interested to see how this one plays out.
Source and image: The Telegraph
Feature image: USA Today