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Brewing bishop

14 September 2012

IT COULD be a new tongue-twister: the brewing bishop blessed the blessed beer brewed at Brewery Tap specially to celebrate Leeds Parish Church's being raised to the status of a Minster. It is called Minster Ale, and it is for sale not only at local pubs, where the brewery is to donate 50p to church charities from every pint sold, but two of the ten firkins brewed went to the new Minster to help with the celebrations.

The link between beer and the Church in England is a historic one, the Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, said. "There is a long tradition of monks in the Middle Ages who were associated with the Minster churches' brewing beer - principally because water was not safe to drink, and it also provided a good deal of enjoyment and refreshment.

"The monasteries would brew the beer, and it would be shared by the workers and the people on the estate; so the brewing of beer was a service to the community, and that tradition continues."

Leeds Parish Church, he said, has always had that tradition of service and mission to the whole of Leeds - that was why it was being designated a Minster, "which describes very well what its role has been; and what we are doing is affirming that, and its future role as a key part of the culture of the whole city".


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