Page last updated at 01:00 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas spirit for pub church

Capital Asset pub
Carols will be sung and a prayers said in the pub

A Perth church is breaking with tradition by holding a Christmas service in the pub next door.

The minister of St Matthew's in Tay Street will relocate to the Capital Asset bar for the Watchnight Service.

Carols will begin at 2330 GMT on Christmas Eve and the worship will finish just after midnight.

The church wants to reach out to those who do not usually attend services and the pub owners hope to remind customers of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Reverend Scott Burton said: "I was slightly apprehensive beforehand, but everyone on the Kirk Session was very positive.

"We really want to take the Christmas message to the people, and all are welcome to join us.

This is about encouraging traditional values and community spirit
Yvonne Cuthbert
Pub manager

"If ever there was good time for the church to leave the security of ancient buildings in order to lead worship beyond our walls, it is during the festive season.

"The hub of the Christmas message is that the baby Jesus was God incarnate - God taking the form of flesh and blood and coming to dwell amongst his people."

After the service, Mr Burton and fellow church members will stay in the pub until 0100 GMT to talk to anyone who is feeling stressed or unhappy.

Yvonne Cuthbert, manager at the Capital Asset, immediately supported the idea.

"This is about encouraging traditional values and community spirit," she said.

"Christmas can be a very joyful time and it is great to have this opportunity to celebrate the real story of Christmas in a relaxed environment.

"The majority of people do celebrate Christmas but have forgotten what it is all about."

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