"THE idea came about", the Revd Desmond Williamson (left in
photo) says, "when one of the men in the congregation
complained that women get flowers on Mother's Day [surely he means
Mothering Sunday?], but we men don't get anything. As we discussed
this, the idea for a beer swap was born."
St Mark's, Tattenham Corner, in Guildford
diocese, is a joint Anglican and Methodist church, and Methodism
has had a long tradition of teetotalism - but, apparently, no more.
It was decided that the men of the congregation would each be asked
to bring a bottle of their favourite beer or cider to the
ten-o'clock service last Sunday - "Father's Day" - and place it on
During the service, Mr Williamson would ask them which their
favourite beer was, and why, and, at the end, each man would be
invited to take a bottle he did not bring so that he could try a
new variety. And just in case some men turned up without any, ASDA
would be providing a few choice bottles such as Bishop's Finger,
Abbot Ale, Goliath, and Black Sheep Ale.
While the men were thinking during the service about what it
meant to be a father, the children would be making Father's Day
cards to present to their dads at the end of the service. I have
not heard how it all went, but, judging by the early enthusiasm, it
sounds like an idea that other churches might try.