It’s not often that going to the pub can be counted as work time, but once a month, the Revd Carol Dunk, associate minister at Fleet’s St Philip and St James’ church ‘props up the bar’ at The Falkners Arms pub in Fleet, chatting to the locals.
The idea is simple: the informal sessions – dubbed ‘More TEA vicar?’ after one of Carol’s favourite ales, Traditional English Ale (TEA) – give Carol the chance to literally ‘meet people where they are’ and build relationships with parts of the community who may never walk through the doors of a church.
“’More TEA vicar’ is a chance for me to get to know the locals. I’ve been in Fleet for just 10 months, so I’m trying to meet the people who either live or work nearby, so that if anyone needs help, prayer, or pastoral care, then I’m on hand.
“I would also like to break down some of the perceived barriers about people who go to church and are active Christians – hopefully relationships will be built up and people will see me as a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or to have a laugh and joke with. Then they might be happy to talk about their spiritual views – whatever they may be.”
‘More TEA vicar?’ is held between 4 and 6pm on the third Thursday of the month at the Falkners’ Arms, on the Ancells Farm estate, Fleet.