Beer Taps in a 600-Year-Old Church? Congregation Divided in St Ives
A Cornwall church installing beer taps has fractured its congregation. St Ia’s Church in St Ives now features two beer taps, a controversial addition that’s ignited fury among traditional church members.
The move, orchestrated by St Ives Brewery, aims to facilitate the church’s two-week arts and music festival, a major tourist draw. Barry Lewis, a veteran congregant, argues that the taps dishonor those who’ve died for their beliefs, stating, “This sacred space has stood for over six centuries as a testament to the spiritual grace offered through the sacrifice of St Ia and others.”
Equally contentious is the church’s decision to photograph the vicar pulling pints in liturgical vestments. Lewis labels the marketing strategy “utterly unacceptable,” asserting broad congregational agreement.
Angela Homer, another churchgoer, expressed surprise but some openness to the idea: “It’s jarring, but maybe it’ll boost attendance.”
Despite the discord, Reverend Nick Widdows defends the initiative as temporary and part of a broader welcome: “You’ll never please everyone with change,” he said. “If the festival allows people to enjoy their time here, it may open doors to other forms of engagement.”