Eat/Drink

English church takes over the pub next door

The bistro — under the management of St Thomas Church — will serve beer, wine, coffee and hot meals. — Reuters picThe bistro — under the management of St Thomas Church — will serve beer, wine, coffee and hot meals. — Reuters picLONDON, Aug 10 — An Anglican church in eastern England has become the first in the country to take over the running of a pub, hoping to bring people together and raise money for charity.

The aptly named “Mitre” in Norwich was first licensed in 1867 but closed earlier this decade, and for a while became a Chinese restaurant.

From Monday, it will be re-opened as a bistro under the management of St Thomas Church next door.

“We have always had an eye on it,” said Terry Huggins, managing director of the church’s trading arm.

“The idea was that we would try to buy it and turn it into a public home so that people in the neighbourhood and beyond could use it,” he told AFP.

“It will be a bistro. It will serve beer, wine, coffee and we will have meals at breakfast time, lunchtime and in the early evening.”

Eventually, he hopes the pub will hold community events such as musical evenings -- but the religious services will stay next door.

“The building will be very welcoming to you, whether or not you are Christian, whether or not you are somebody from a different place,” Huggins said.

The church paid around £500,000 (RM2.79 million) for the building, which it raised with donations from its congregation and charities, and spent another £100,000 on renovations.

As far as Huggins knows, it is the first time in the UK that a church had bought a pub to keep it running.

Any profits will be used to help finance the church’s charitable projects, both in the UK and abroad. — AFP-Relaxnews

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