Pull the other one
Birmingham Cathedral is proposing to open wine bars in the city in the hope that selling alcohol could help churches to reach out to the wider community. A cathedral spokesperson said it was looking at ‘alternative ways’ of engaging with people who do not normally go to the cathedral.
The Cathedral maintains that bars would not lose their distinctive spiritual quality and could retain a Christian message in the form of stained-glass windows, religious-themed pictures or being decorated in ‘episcopal purple’. However, the diocese insisted alcohol would be sold responsibly and it would not be opening a nightclub.
‘We’re not trying to encourage drinking, but the cathedral has to engage more with the city and find ways of meeting people on their territory. Cathedral wine bars should be seen as a potential commercial operation with profits going into the upkeep of the building and paying for evangelistic work.
‘This isn’t about turning the cathedral into a moneymaking machine, but we have to think of how we can change and spread the brand’.