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Ding Dong Merrily on High

By guest editor Richard Caldwell

Posted August 18, 2017
the mitre pub in norwich
Public house of worship: The Mitre in Norwich. © The Mitre

Norwich clergyman opens Mitre pub next door to his church. Richard Caldwell investigates.

There was once a semi-popular meme which read: "If you can't lower Heaven, raise some Hell."

Reverend Ian Dyble of St Thomas's Church in Norwich, Norfolk, UK appears to have taken that to heart, spending half a million pounds from the collection plate on the purchase of a pub.

Located just next door to his own place of worship, the Mitre's designs for enabling parishioners to get lifted and to converse with the spirits was preaching to the choir for the Reverend.

As Olivia Rudgard reported on the matter:

Fittingly named the Mitre, the pub was put up for sale 18 months ago after a spell as a Chinese takeaway and bought by the church after a fundraising drive.

But [Rev] Dyble insists alcohol is only a very small part of the initiative.

"It's also for people's perception of the Church to be changed."

"I would hope it would be a pleasant surprise for people."

"Jesus turned water into wine, he did it at a wedding party."

As many might argue that the Roman-Catholic Vatican is becoming divisively populist, at least enough to upset the more Capitalist members of its flock, if condoned by the Church of England then Rev Dyble may actually be opening an exciting new revenue stream for those church-goers eager to drown their sorrows in something more tasty than ye olde baptismal.

Although the prospects for the C of E's female bishops gathering here for a special synod of wet T-shirts is probably off the mark, and to even propose such a thing is quite reprehensible (T-shirts available here).

Quenching one's thirst unto itself is certainly not irreligious of course, as the ancient Sumerians were quite fond of sowing their wild oats, with Christian monks fretting over sour grapes through the Middle Ages and on to a rather fine assortment of the Trappist beers of today.

Even Ray Manzarek of the Doors was drawn to the hard-drinking rogue monks responsible for the Carmina Burana, heard in some form or other in approximately 51% of all film and television endeavours.

And regardless of one's views on the dogmatics of theology leading one into the dog-house, or of teetotalism in general, Ray Manzarek is pretty cool.

Kyle MacLachlan's casting in the Oliver Stone film was on point and anyone saying otherwise can meet this reporter round back for a spiritual awakening.

Cheers, Richard. Judging from the St Thomas's Church's FaceBook page, the Rev Dyble's got a fairly novel approach to spreading the Word. Take, for example, the following photo from this year's Easter service. I'm not really one for organised religion but that looks well flippin' Dada to me. Anyway, for more on boozing and religion, read our Vatican crisps and beer exclusive here.

Easter at St Thomas's
Easter extravaganza: Beats all that mournful stuff. © St Thomas's Church

See also Planetary protection officers wanted, posted 7/8/17.

Richard Caldwell
used to write for the now sadly defunct New Comics Day. Fortunately, his writings still abound elsewhere on the interweb, such as on his flippin' ace blog that you are strongly advised to check out here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.

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