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Pub that was full of grace and flavour

PUBLISHED: 04:17 20 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

KESGRAVE is full of the Holy Spirit!

Church-goers and pub regulars got together as the town's vicar switched his Sunday services from the church to the local pub.

KESGRAVE is full of the Holy Spirit!

Church-goers and pub regulars got together as the town's vicar switched his Sunday services from the church to the local pub.

Rev Robin Spittle decided to go out of All Saints' Church in Kesgrave and move in the Farmhouse pub.

As the smell of Sunday roasts wafted through the 16th Century building, Mr Spittle told the 30 people of all ages that Jesus would have approved of bringing the church to the people.

But he admitted: "If I had taken a service in a pub about five or 10 years ago, I would have got a lot of criticism from the Church for coming here."

Mr Spittle told his worshippers about Jesus' miracle of turning 180 gallons of water into the best wine – "A good way to boost your profit margins," he told pub manageress Brenda Allitt - and he gave a pint of Greene King beer for men to share and a coke for two children.

"We come alive in a pub and that is why it is an appropriate place for a church service. There is nothing wrong in having a drink, provided you are over 18," said Mr Spittle.

"The Bible has never criticised drinking, but has criticised drinking too much because that depletes our ability to enjoy life.

"The life you see in a pub, where people are buzzing, that is the sort of life Jesus wants to give. The life that Jesus offers is like a full pint of beer on a hot day or a glass of coke on a hot day."

But it was too hot for Mr Spittle to wear his robes inside the pub as he wandered in the building addressing the worshippers, seated at the bar tables, through a microphone.

Pre-recorded background music and vocals accompanied the songs and the congregation clapped along to the upbeat music.

As they looked around the pub, they could see the flashing reindeers along the bar, a hot peanuts dispenser and a fruit machine, while the tables had menus highlighting the festive menu – "A Christmas Party fit for a King" – and a small Christmas tree was already lit up.

Mr Spittle will be holding a carol service in the pub on December 9 at 11.15am.

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