Some say alcohol is the devil’s drink, but a Protestant church in Brielen, Belgium, is using it to keep parishioners happy and bring more people closer to God. After the last bar in town closed, church goers who used to get together every Sunday after mass for a cold glass of beer were forced to either abandon their tradition or travel to neighboring villages. It was a sad end to a very popular custom, but the local priest saw it as an opportunity to do something good for his flock and attract more people to church.
Following the closure of the last bar in Brielen a local priest has made the decision to allow the faithful to drink alcoholic beverages in the church building, opening a pub there, reports Deutsche Welle.
The parish priest of the church of Our Lady helps the "thirsty" residents, and everyone is welcome but imposes various conditions on their visitors.
After asking the permission of local authorities, the priest announced that every Sunday, after mass, congregates were more than welcome to use the church as a bar and drink as much beer as they like, just like they used to before. He even had an actual bar set up in the church and, as soon as he ends his sermon, wooden chairs and tables with white tablecloths are brought out to make the people feel like they’re in their old pub.
Parishioners can drink as much beer as they like, but the priest has set a few clear rules. The most important one is that you have to attend the mass in order to be allowed into the bar. This helps the church better fulfill its purpose of bringing people closer to religion, and people get their bar experience back. Everybody wins!
To keep the church from turning into a place of debauchery, music and dancing are forbidden, and patrons must leave before 1:00 in the afternoon. This gives them enough time to drink plenty of beer, but not enough to get too drunk.