The Church of England may open a chain of wine bars in city centers, decked out in stained-glass windows and upholstered in “Episcopal purple.” The plan is part of Birmingham Cathedral’s efforts to fluff up its “brand,” and attract worshipers.
Mark Hope-Urwin, the church’s new director of hospitality and welcome, who pitched the idea, explains, “We’re not trying to encourage drinking, but the cathedral has to engage more with the city and find ways of meeting people on their territory.”
Alder Yarrow at Vinography thinks church wine bars are a great idea. “The world would be a better place if we all sat down and had a glass of wine with each other more often,” he writes. Plus, this might be a way to lure English beer-lovers onto the fruit of the vine instead—a desirable thing since wine has been losing out to beer in popularity.
Dr. Vino hopes the wine bars will lead to improved palates and an “upgrading of the Communion wine.”
Commenter recchip at VirtueOnline notes that Episcopalians are already known for not having moral objections to alcohol: “They don’t call us ‘Whiskypalians’ for nothing.”