The church bought a pub next door and plans to use it for evangelism purposes.
The vicar of St Thomas Church, Rev Ian Dyble, told Premier that he got the idea when he saw another vicar behind a bar several years ago.
He said: “Many years ago I went on holiday with my wife in the Lake District and we went for a drink and the local vicar was behind the bar. I thought ‘what a great idea, to engage in the community in that context’.
“When the pub came on the market, I put it to the church and there was a real consensus, evident by the very generous giving of the church, and we bought it’.
The pub, already called The Mitre (a headpiece worn by Anglican Bishops) cost £500,000 and was most recently used as a Chinese restaurant and takeaway.
Rev Dyble said although the pub will serve craft ales, it has more of a bistro setting.
He told Premier: “The pub is going to have a family feel, a public home rather than a public house.
“We’re keen to engage with the community, find out what’s on the hearts of them and bring the message of love and hope and grace mercy to them. We know a number of people who wouldn’t come to the church door but would come to the Mitre.”
When asked how he would encourage others to be creative when it comes to evangelism Rev Dyble said: “There are so many opportunities for us to reach out and share what I think is the greatest message in the world…there’s nothing that you can’t do with God on our side.
“Think outside the box, think creatively and take some risks.”
The Mitre’s grand opening is on 14th August.
Listen to Premier’s Tola Mbakwe speaking with Rev Ian Dyble here:
Most people would never associate a pub with church, but St Thomas Church in Norwich is getting people to think outside the box.