Come ale ye faithful, says Lanark church

By staff writers
December 21, 2009

There might not have been anywhere for expectant Mary and her husband Joseph two thousand years ago, but a minister in Lanark, Scotland, says there is plenty of room at the inn this Christmas. At least, at the one to which he is going.

That is because members of the town’s Greyfriars Parish Church (Presbyterian) will be leading a special Christmas Eve carol singing session at a local pub in a bid to bring some festive cheer to the community.

The idea came from a member of the congregation earlier in the year, and carols will begin at the Clydesdale Inn, Lanark, at 8pm.

Strathaven Brewery has also created a limited edition “Greyfriars Kirk Christmas Ale” for the occasion, which will be on sale on the night.

Church of Scotland minister, the Rev Bryan Kerr said: ”Christmas Eve is always a special time in our church with our popular, and some might say lighthearted, watchnight service but this adds a whole new dimension. Many people might be a bit dubious about the church going into a pub and having its own ale brewed."

He added: ”If Jesus was here in Lanark today, I am certain that we would meet him in the most unlikely of places, possibly even in the pubs around the town, meeting and speaking to those he came across.

”The church is not saying that people need to drink to have a good time," Kerr added. "But we are recognising that at this time of year, many people enjoy a drink with friends and we want people to hear the Good News of Christmas when they are there.”

Greyfriars Church and the Clydesdale Inn hope that this new partnership will see different events come to the pub in 2010.

The church will also be holding a late night carol service at 11 pm and their annual watchnight service at 11:30 pm and says all are most welcome.

Last year St Matthew’s Church in Perth held its watchnight service in a pub, and attracted over 300 people.

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