Church in a Pub // #Write31Days // Day 21
One of our community projects is ‘Church in a Pub’, and let me tell you it is a great joy that I get to do part of my job, in a pub 🙂
It all started when our Worship Pastor, who is also a professional musician, was asked by the local Landlord, after a gig he did there, to come and ‘do church in the pub’ – well that is not an offer you can’t turn down! And so a few weeks later there we were hosting our very first ‘Church in a Pub’.
There are a few churches doing this kind of thing and they seem to take on various formats from a Pint with the Vicar, to pub quizzes, to apologetics over a drink. All sorts. We are a church with a lot of talented musicians so for us live music was the starting point.
Our format is a bit like a very informal service, just in the pub, so the musicians play some worship songs which people can sing along to if they want, we have a short ‘thought for the day’ which is always quite low key, and then we have another slot that varies from an interview, to a testimony, or to a Q&A slot or an ‘activity’, to a performance song. All done with people sat around pub tables and chatting over a pint or G&T.
The great thing about Church in a Pub is that it’s non threatening! We are in the main body of the pub, so there are locals in there too & those having their dinner. We’re not shut away in a function room. It’s very chilled out so we always encourage people to get up and go to the bar or move around & chat if they want to. And we want to bless the pub too so the more people that buy drinks the better! I’ve written before about people finding it hard to step into a church building but many find stepping into a pub far easier…
We’ve been doing this for about 2 years now (every quarter) and it seems to be getting more and more popular, our latest one last weekend being packed out. We’ve had a few guest speakers along the way including the local Bishop, and this weekend saw Sue Rinaldi (Christian musician and worship leader) joining us as she shared some of her story and her songs.
We’ve found people find it easy to bring friends to (easier than bringing them to church certainly) and we’ve had a few regulars joining us who wouldn’t ordinarily come to church. I am hoping we can start to really develop this idea to other locals and in fact people have started to show an interest from other churches and ask how we do it, so I’m really hoping we can develop some resources online to encourage others to give it a go. So if you are interested do get in touch!
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Massive thank you to the lovely Matt Freestone for the photos too, do check out his work, he’s very talented!