Tag Archives: pub

Drink – 2

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September 2, 2013 · 00:16

Working in a Pub

Learning from the Landlord

Posted by Paul Levy

 

I recently got locked out of my house and spent the morning in our local greasy spoon, ‘The Hanwell Cafe’, and the afternoon in our local pub, ‘The White Hart’, affectionately known in the area as ‘The Dripping Blade’. It’s an old style London pub that hasn’t been gentrified. I took Trueman in there on his recent trip. He was terrified; constantly looking shifty as if he’d walked into a Gospel Coalition committee meeting. On another visit recently with a minister friend it took us 15 minutes to convince a man under the influence that we weren’t the ‘Old Bill’. In a pub like the White Hart policemen are not the most popular of people.

The previous landlord of the White Hart used to say to me: ‘You know what the problem with this pub is?’, at this point I shrugged and he gesticulated with his arms and said in an exasperated tone ‘The locals!’. He had a point in some ways, but, although having a fair crack at running the pub, with an attitude like that it was never going to be a roaring success. In a traditional English pub you go partly for the vibe.It’s the same faces, telling the same jokes, enjoying each other’s company. In the words of the Cheers song ‘You wanna go where everybody knows your name’. For a time darts was banned at the White Hart because of the potential danger and pool cues could only be obtained when asked for at the bar, it didn’t make for the most congenial of atmospheres.

The new landlord and landlady are Polish and not particularly adept in the art of pulling pints but both are delighted to be there. The pub food is still as bad; an English breakfast cooked badly with Polish sausage is no fun. It’s a man’s pub. There’s rarely a woman in there and when she is I would have thought she would instantly regret it.

Having spent an afternoon in there being quizzed by locals about why I had a Bible and a lap top it struck me there are lots of similarities between running a local pub and being a minister. I know the obvious differences. I’m not proposing that we start pub church and all that kind of stuff, but there is a sense where a landlord must be warm as toast, hospitable, tough, hard working, able to talk to people, working ridiculously long hours, willing to take the criticism and moans of regulars, being able to accept whoever walks in the door and try and engage with them, having the guts sometimes to ask people to leave. I wonder whether part of ministerial training should involve working in a pub?

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Father Murphy and Heaven

Father Murphy goes into a pub in Dublin and approaches the first man he sees

“Do you want to go to Heaven?” he asks

“Truly, I do, Father”

“Then for God’s sake, leave this pub right now!”

He then goes to the next man, “Do you want to go to Heaven, my son?” And the man answers, “Yes Father, indeed I want to do that very thing.” “Then ye must get out of this pub right now!” orders the priest.

Father Murphy continues this throughout the pub until he comes to the last man. “Do you want to go to Heaven, man?!” exhorts the priest.

The man looks at his half-full beer, turns, looks at Father Murphy and says, “No, I don’t,Father.”

“You mean to tell me, young man, that when you die, you don’t want to go to Heaven?” asks the priest incredulously.

“Oh, well, when I die, yes Father, I certainly do. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now!”

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The Pub Chaplain

The Meenister’s Log

There is a pub – just an ordinary pub – a few yards from one of my former manses.

I’d pop in a couple of times a week, usually just before my evening meal, for a couple of pints.

Word got round that I was the new minister.  And, initially, there would be silence from the regulars when I walked in.

Then it would be “Watch your language, the minister’s here” – said in a slightly sarcastic way.

But after a while “Watch your language….” became to be said genuinely, and any punter who used a heavy duty swear word would be reprimanded by the landlord, “Remember, the minister’s here!”

Gradually, I became one of the “locals” at this watering hole.

I’d be asked to resolve arguments, patch up broken relationships, listen to folks’ problems…. a pastoral ministry indeed, albeit in slightly unusual surroundings.

One time, I was asked if I would conduct the marriage ceremony of a middle-aged couple who had divorced but were now together again – no, the wedding service wasn’t in the pub, nor was the baptism of one of the regular’s grandchild

And then, one of the punter’s died.  I was asked to conduct the funeral.

After the cremation, I drove home, while many of the mourners went to our pub.

After half an hour or so, the landlord himself came to the Manse door and said that I had been asked by the company to join them in the bar.

I’ve never been so touched in my life….. when I walked in the door, they put down their drinks and applauded me.

Some cheered but got an ironic look from the landlord who said “Keep the noise down, the minister’s here!”.

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October 21, 2012 · 04:04

Way to Heaven

The Meenister’s Log

Father Murphy walked into a pub and said to the first man he met, “Do you want to go to heaven?”

The man replied, “I do Father.”

The priest said, “Then stand over there against the wall.”

Then the priest asked a second man, “Do you want to go to heaven?”

“Certainly, Father,” was the man’s reply.

The priest said, “Then stand over there against the wall.”

Then Father Murphy walked up to O’Toole and said, “Do you want to go to heaven?”

O’Toole said, “No, I don’t Father.”

The priest said, “I don’t believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven?”

O’Toole said, “Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.”

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The Worst Student 2

The Meenister’s Log

A parishioner died while his wife was shopping. While she was busying herself in the Main Street stores, he went to a local hostelry for a pint.

Sadly, before he had a sip, he collapsed and died.

At the pastoral meeting prior to the funeral, my student asked the widow, “I hope he hadn’t paid for his drink”

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