Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 16:17 UK

Touch of spirit for pub regulars

Pub church congregation
The congregation included church members and pub regulars

Customers at a Cornish pub have been enjoying some prayer with their pints.

Drinkers at the Seven Stars Inn, in St Austell, have been offered the chance to take part in informal Sunday worship in the bar.

The services are led by the Reverend Patrick Bamber, associate vicar of the town's Holy Trinity Church.

On Sunday the pub was packed with dozens of people, nursing their drinks while listening to Bible readings, a talk and live music.

It's made me think about where to take my life
Andrew, pub goer

The clergyman said the service was a way of "reaching out into the community with an informal service in a relaxed atmosphere".

He said: "The Church is not a building, the Church is the people, so it is easy for us to change venue where some people feel more comfortable."

Seven Stars landlady Ameena Williams said: "My customers at the beginning were a bit sceptical because they didn't know quite what to make of it all.

"We thought we'd get together and see what we ended up with, we've got a mix of people and a nice social event."

Pub congregation
The pub services will continue into the autumn if they prove popular

A couple of hecklers aside, most pub regulars seemed to take the service in their stride.

Andrew, who had popped in for a swift half was left with food for thought: "It's made me think about where to take my life" he said.

Lynne, a member of the usual church congregation commented: "Jesus didn't sit in the temple every Sunday.

"He went out amongst the people and showed his love, so I'm pleased to be here."

The pub church services are running as a four week trial over the summer.

The Reverend Bamber said if they were successful they would be continued into the autumn.

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11 Jun 07 |  Cornwall
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04 Jul 06 |  South East Wales

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