Regulars at Poringland’s Royal Oak embrace PubChurch
This week a PubChurch in the South Norfolk village of Poringland is celebrating its first anniversary after a year of monthly meetings in the Royal Oak, successfully building relationships with pub regulars.
On Sunday January 15, 2017 PubChurch launched in Poringland’s Royal Oak pub, headed by a team from the local All Saints Church under the leadership of Pioneer Ordinand Rachel Foster.
After a year of meeting in the pub every third Sunday of the month from 12pm-1pm, the team is looking forward to developing the relationships that have been built with pub regulars.
The PubChurch monthly meetings, which are held around a table in the main bar area of the pub, involve a theme based on Scripture and the opportunity to discuss the theme in a light-hearted way and pray about what the discussion has highlighted.
Rachel Foster said: "Last January saw the launch of PubChurch at the Royal Oak in Poringland. Well, we are still here and delighted to report that the ministry is developing and growing. God gave us a logo which depicts a large oak tree with an enormous root ball and text from the parable of the mustard seed. It was made clear that our job was to nurture and protect the root ball and that is exactly what we feel we have been doing this year."
At the beginning of the venture, some pub-goers may have thought the meetings were strange in some way, however Delia Perry, Landlady of the Royal Oak reports the concerns and fears have disappeared.
Delia says: “We have come a long way in this first year. When PubChurch was first launched last January, there were a lot of snide comments and derision towards us at the pub but PubChurch has become integrated and is now considered the ‘norm’.
“The monthly meetings are now not just accepted but expected to the point that the weeks that they are not in here, people want to know where they are.
“The weekly Saturday morning singing group and the Christmas and Easter services are very well attended with the emphasis on singing becoming a feature of this whole initiative.
“PubChurch is embraced here by our regulars and there has been a real change in people’s perception of ‘church’”.
Rachel continued: "God showed us that at the start, the tree (of our logo) was a small shoot and that the roots were the main part of the picture. He has now shown us that we are a sapling and we have a leaf. We are continuing in our prayers together as a team and continually seek to review where we are and look forward to the next step. This first year has been about building relationship and trust within the established pub community.
"We look forward to the year ahead and trust God will show us how to now protect and develop the sapling that this Fresh Expression of church has now become.
"It is so encouraging to have the logo to go back to time and again to remind us of the vision that God has given. We do not know how long it will take before this ministry is the fully-grown tree with birds perching in its branches but the journey along the way has been and continues to be challenging and exciting."
If anyone would like to visit please come along on the third Sunday of the month 12-1pm, The Royal Oak, Poringland. 44, The Street. NR14 7JT.’
For more information please contact Rachel Foster on 01508 493225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.