‘I’m sure that if I advertise it well across all of the churches in our circuit and the district we could certainly get a group of about 25-30 here. Would that make it worth staying open for?’
That was part of the conversation when I first pitched the idea of #beerandhymns to Matthew over a pie and a pint. In the end more of you than that showed up, quite a few more!
I made my way to the Brewery after our circuit evening service feeling quite excited about what was to come but also a little nervous. I had basically promised what I thought would be a decent Sunday evening crowd and had high hopes that if anyone else turned up they might like to join in with one or two of the well known hymns I had planned to sing. Earlier in the week we had arranged for some speakers to be brought along for the organ and decided that as a radio mic could plug into the same system we’d bring it along just in case we needed a little extra to be heard over any gentle chatter.
Bradford, I am sorry, I seriously underestimated you!
As soon as I looked through the window I realised this event might be a bit bigger than I had anticipated! 30mins before we started and the place was already heaving. Incredibly, as we were setting up, more and more people kept arriving until the main bar was absolutely packed with punters shoulder to shoulder. People from all over the city, young and old, of different faiths and no faith all crammed into a bar to enjoy some top quality beer and bang out some well known ‘retro’ hymns.
As we got into the swing of things I was able to look around and see my city joined together in song and it was wonderful.
It was an immense privilege for me to lead that service, to give thanks for Gods good gifts to us and to properly belt out classics like ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Love Divine’ and ‘And can it be’. The girls from St Joseph’s Catholic School even added a bit of extra class with there beautiful rendition of their School song ‘In God Alone’. Not to mention giving us a great idea for a future #beerandhymns. #Hymnaoke anyone?
As the chorus built into the climax of ‘Thine be the glory’ and the pint glasses were raised in the air it was clear that together we were a part of something very special.
Thank you all for coming, I can’t wait until next time!