As Britain gets into gear for the new year after an extended holiday season which often includes an excess of food and drink, a church that played a major part in the temperance movement has called on the government to rethink licensing laws.
Ms Anthea Cox, Methodist Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice, said: “Christmas and New Year are a time when many people want to celebrate, and the majority drink sensibly. But the last two weeks have shown that we have a significant problem with binge drinking and this has lead again to trouble for some drinkers and a rise in crime and casualty treatments."
She continued: "We call on the government to revisit licensing as well as encouraging initiatives that support people in responsible drinking and seeking alternatives to alcohol.”
The Methodists ran a high profile public competition in 2004 to find the recipe for Britain’s best mocktails - alcohol free cocktails. The best recipes can be found at www.mocktails.org.uk 
The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian churches serving Britain, with nearly 300,000 members and regular contact with over 800,000 people. It has about 5,800 congregations and maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.