Letter: The parish pump

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I thought your leading article concerning the opening of a Christian pub in Bradford (14 June) missed the point.

I opened and chaired for 10 years a similar establishment, the Howerd Club, in my last parish. Most of the members were not church people. Our aim was to be in contact with people we would not otherwise meet in friendly, relaxing surroundings. Many members who would have felt daunted by the Church were able to share anxieties and concerns in a non-threatening environment. It was, and still is, a successful concern, even recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale as their national Club of the Year.

The Christian gospel of love and concern is not to be confined within the walls of churches - Jesus himself mixed with people where they were, and was often criticised for it.

The Rev JOHN NEAL

London SE9

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