Drinkers to raise cash for church window

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | Dining out | Published:

The window of a Shrewsbury church damaged in a break-in could be repaired thanks to some kind-hearted beer drinkers.

Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA’s annual beer, cider and perry festival takes place later this month and organisers have decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of three beers to the fund set up to repair damage to a historic stained glass window at St Mary’s Church.

Last month, a thief who broke into the church and made off with about £40 caused £10,000 worth of damage by smashing the medieval window.

The unique beers, so new they have not yet been named, are being brewed by local breweries: Festival main sponsors Stonehouse Brewery, St. Anne’s Brewery and Chapel Brewery.

Festival organiser Dave Ricketts said: “When we heard that some lowlife had broken a window at the church we immediately wanted to do something to help. Selling some beers especially for the repairs seemed like the best way to go about it. It’s great that local breweries also wanted to contribute by making some special beers for us.”

Although there was initially some controversy surrounding the use of St Mary’s Church as a venue for a beer festival, planning has proceeded smoothly and the organisers and the Churches Conservation Trust are looking forward to another fun and friendly event.

On offer will be around 8,000 pints of 111 different ales, 700 of cider and perry, and 20 varieties each of gin and country wines. More than 60 breweries will be represented, including 10 from Shropshire, and most ciders and gins will be from local, small scale suppliers.

Shrewsbury CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival draws around 2,500 visits, around half of which are from outside the town. Festival goers can leave and return at no extra cost, and are encouraged to visit local pubs, shops and food outlets during and around the festival. Visitors from outside the town are urged stay over and visit again.

Norrie Porter, convener of the festival working party said: “We love bringing friends back and new visitors to this wonderful town. This year, our venue is so beautiful we want to share it with as many people as possible and at the same time give something back. The festival is important to Shropshire because it not only is great fun, but it also showcases beers and breweries and at the same time raises funds which are used to support and campaign for pubs.”

This year’s festival takes place from July 24 – 27 July. Wednesday is a trade and members’ preview from 5-9pm, although it will be possible to join on the night. On Thursday the festival opens to the public at 11am, preceded by a peal of bells, and closes at 10.30pm, in time for last orders in local pubs. Opening hours on Friday are 11am – 10.30pm and Saturday 11am – 9pm.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


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