The way to God maybe through this pub!

October 9th, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 9 (ANI): A priest has found a novel way to bring back his wandering flock by holding his services in a pub.

Father Philip Blackledge, 34, hosts religious chats once a month at his local pub, where members can talk out their problems openly, and the idea has even encouraged pub regulars to join in for the informal gathering.

Its all about meeting people on their own territory, the Sun quoted him as saying.

The pub works as a place where everyone can talk about whats on their mind, but in a church environment, he said.

The idea to hold an informal gathering at the Four Marys pub in Linlithgow, West Lothian, originated after people revealed to Fr Blackledge, rector of St Peters Episcopal Church in the town, that they were having problems going to church every week.

They see the dog collar when youre out and engage in conversation with you, he said.

People were telling me how interested they were in attending the church but, for varying reasons, found they couldnt.

We decided to start up the group as a way of tackling this problem, he stated.

The meetings are held on the first Sunday of every month, and at the last meeting 25 people joined Fr Blackledge for a pint.

The group all buy a drink, and sit down to discuss the topic of the night.

Its always great to see people come in, not knowing anything about the service, and joining in with their own opinions, he said.

Were providing a service for those who cannot attend church or want to talk about important issues in a relaxed atmosphere, he added. (ANI)

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