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Welsh Priest Want Licence to Sell Liquor in Church

by Gopalan on  April 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Welsh Priest Want Licence to Sell Liquor in Church
A UK priest is all set to offer spiritual nourishment of a different kind.  He will apply for a drinks licence so he can sell wine and beer in his church.
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The Reverend Geraint ap Iorwerth could be made licensee of St Peter ad Vincula Church in Pennal, near Machynlleth, close to the Powys-Gwynedd border.

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He joked that there were plans to serve more than just spirits, though, with lager and wine on the menu too, BBC reports.

Ap Iorwerth said he might also open a bar with proper pub-style pumps in a new church cafe in the future.

But at the moment the licence is needed to sell and serve drinks at parish functions such as concerts, weddings or christenings.

The vicar will go to magistrates' court next month to apply for the licence.

Ap Iorwerth said: "It is quite common for larger churches and cathedrals to apply for a licence, and we want to make sure we are within the law.

"We have plans to serve lager and red and white wine - that is what the average punter wants."

He added: "We also want to serve drinks at a cafe at the rear of the church.

"We have also received requests from people planning weddings who would like drinks and canapés after their service and before the reception.

"It would be nice to serve drinks at concerts, Christmas and New Year's Eve too.

"A small bar is a possibility. I would love to think that at certain times of the year people could come down in the evening to have a drink."

Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan told a conference in Llandudno that churches should "think creatively" about facilities.

The Church in Wales said St Peter ad Vincula Church had a gallery cafe so the licence would enable it to serve alcohol to customers.

"The Church in Wales welcomes initiatives such as this which encourage people to come to churches and to see them as places where they can relax, socialise and share food and drink," said a spokeswoman.

"Indeed, sharing bread and wine is an essential part of the Christian ministry.

"We see alcohol, taken in moderation and used responsibly, as something to enjoy with others."

Interestingly the only opposition to the plans has arisen purely from commercial reasons, nothing religious there.

Carol Bodza of Glansychan stores and off-licence and Susan Crossley of the Riverside Hotel in Pennal, are upset.

Mrs Bodza said: "We have no objection to the cafe, but I don't see why he (Mr ap Iorwerth) needs to apply for a licence to sell alcohol.

"Both our off-licence and the hotel is less than 100 yards away from the church and we feel this could affect our business."

Off-licence (sometimes known as off-sales) is a term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a shop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises, as opposed to a bar or public house which is licensed for consumption at the point of sale (on-licence).

Source: Medindia
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