St Ia’s Church in Cornwall has installed a bar with two temporary beer taps. The Grade 1 listed building is one of the main music venues for the St Ives September Festival, a two-week music and arts event showcasing local talent.
Rev Nick Widdows, who leads the church, the had the wooden bar constructed “partly for coffee on Sunday, but also, for when we run events”.
“St Ives Brewery have kindly come in and installed these beer pumps for us, so we can serve drinks as well for when people come in for concerts and choirs and various other events that we run here,” he explained.
“We got a local carpenter, Joel, to come in and create this for us, and he’s done a beautiful job. I think the highest compliment we could pay him is that it looks like it has always been here. It’s a fantastic piece of local craftmanship that he’s done for us.”
The church has previously hosted acts during past editions of the festival, but this year, it has become one of the main venues. It has also installed a bar in front of the church’s organ, which serves wine and water but no spirits.
Rev Widdows admitted that there were “a few” members of the congregation who were not “particular fans of the beer pumps” but emphasised, “they are only temporary”.
“What I say to them is that this is just part of our way of welcoming all sorts of people into the church. Above all, we want people to come in and have a positive experience of their time here. Many people don’t come into the church building at all, and actually, if people come in and have a great time at a festival event, then who knows, maybe they’ll come in for something else as well when we put it on.”
The music festival runs from the 9th to the 23rd of September.