ST NICHOLAS's, Chiswick, in west London, and Fuller's Brewery
have been good neighbours for more than 400 years. The brewery is
the biggest employer in the parish; several of its past directors
have been buried in the church; and the beer-makers hold their
carol services there.
Church and brewery also get together for the common good. This
last Christmas, for instance, they held a joint launch of a special
Christmas beer. Quite a few of the parishioners grow hops in their
gardens, the assistant curate, the Revd Andrew Downes, tells me. So
Fuller's agreed to use the local hops for their keg of special St
Nicholas Ale, and there was a launch in the George and Devonshire,
just before Christmas (above).
The launch raised £1600 to provide free breakfastsat the local
parish school, Chiswick School. "It's great to have support like
this from our parish church," the headmaster, Tony Ryan, said. "It
was great to meet so many people from the local community [at the
launch], and the beer was pretty good, too."
The keg sold out within a few days, and, goodthough that
fund-raising was, the £1600 will not last long, and the church
wants to go on supporting thefree breakfasts in co-operation with
the school, and with the brewery's help. Negotiations are under
way, and they are hoping to produce a regular parish ale to be on
sale all through the year, as a fund-raiser to keep the breakfasts