A VICAR has been licensed at an unusual site – a local pub – as churchgoers lost their place of worship years ago after the building was demolished.

Holy Trinity and St Matthew’s Church, in Ronkswood, has been holding services in a skittle alley at the Punch Bowl, in Lichfield Avenue, since 2014, after churchgoers were made homeless following the demolition of its building.

“It is quite different,” says Revd Rob Farmer, who was installed at the Punch Bowl pub in Worcester on Sunday.

Revd Farmer, who was ordained 13 years ago, said: “If you told me 13 years ago that I would be installed at a pub, I would have laughed my socks off.

"I wanted to help this church as it has had its issues and struggles with putting the new building up. At the end of the day it’s a struggle as we rely on voluntary donations, so it is hard to put another building in place.

“From what I have seen, a lot of people are interested on what the church members are up to and the development of the building. For us, church is a lot more than having a service every Sunday. We hope to improve people’s lives and provide for the community."

Churchgoers now gather in various different locations in the community for their meetings and services whilst funds are being raised the new building - which will provide a new multi-use building to serve the congregation and community.

The community have been fundraising to re-build the church on the site, which was affectionately known as The Drum.

Around £90,000 has been raised so far towards the £1 million target needed.

Revd Farmer, aged 54, added: “We have still got a long way to go.

“We have a vision of what we want to achieve and the future for new building on the site.

“It was a 1960’s building, so, many people in the community who originally donated to the building are still supporting the church and the new development. It is heart-breaking for them really.”

The Drum, which was built in 1965, was described as structurally unfound, as it had part of its ceiling fall down and also suffered from concrete cancer and condensation on the windows.

Fortis Living had bought half of the land and have since built properties on the site.

The Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, installed Revd Farmer at the Worcester pub on Sunday, at 3pm.


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