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Church Beer Festival Fundraiser

by ajack last modified 10 Nov, 2021 04:11 PM

"Parish ministry here takes many forms!" remarks Fr Pip Martin, Vicar of St Aldhelm’s, Branksome after blessing the Poole Beer Festival held in the church hall and grounds.

Ministry, mission and beer were combined in this annual community outreach project. 

For this year’s festival the local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) group made St Aldhelm’s its ‘good cause’ and so Fr Pip and church members got busy selling raffle tickets for what quickly became known as the ‘Holy Raffle!’ 

Over £2000 was raised!  

This money will be divided equally between the Friends of St Aldhelm’s - who work hard to improve the church building and its facilities - and a church re-building project in South America. Fr Pip explains: 

"Since first visiting five years ago I have forged a strong link with the Anglican Church in Ecuador and we are currently supporting the priest and locals’ amazing hard work in a very poor community to rebuild their church destroyed by the 2016 earthquake." 

But how does the church find common cause with a beer festival?  

"It’s a lovely, friendly event", says church member Gary Waldron who has attended most of the 22 festivals held there, "and people really enjoy the link with the church. Only one person declared they were atheist and so wouldn’t support the charity." Fr Pip responded: 

  "I explained the church here is open every day for all, including atheists, who want a place of peace and refuge – and I said, ‘Welcome to my garden!" 

More pictures can be found here

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