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About

Welcome back to the 'Saints and Sinners Arms' for our second Beer and Fizz Festival! Last year was an amazing success: a fun-filled event, a brilliantly curated selection of beer, cider and fizz, a significant fundraiser for local charities (including All Saints), and a great way to use our church as it was intended - not just for worship, but for community. 

 

This year we have a wider range of beers, a heavenly host of musical entertainment, and lots going on for children on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and generous sponsors. 

 

There are three festival charities this year: The Youth Booth and Youth Across Hemel both work with young people in and around Hemel; and Inclusive Church, a charity working across churches to promote inclusivity regardless of background, heritage, sexuality, identity or ability. All Saints is in the process of joining the Inclusive Church Network.

 

So, here's to round two! At All Saints we believe that God is experienced in community, conviviality and care. After all, Jesus was often at parties - often criticised by the religious leaders of the day for being at parties. Just as he was criticised for welcoming anyone, regardless of background, into God's Kingdom, which he often talked about as a banquet, a party, a feast, a festival. 

 

In other words, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, 'Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy'. Amen to that! You'll find that quote on posters around the festival and further down this page, along with a QR code. Go on, take a look.

 

Enjoy the festival and be good to each other.

 

See you at the bar,

 

Fr. James McDonald, Vicar of All Saints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.B. / A bit of History

You may be wondering, why a beer (and fizz!) festival? You may even be wondering, is that even allowed?! Well luckily, yes, it is! Churches have a long association with beer. During the Middle Ages parish churches would celebrate various feast days in the Christian calendar with entertainment, singing, dancing, eating and drinking. These festivities are now collectively often called 'church ales'. Some would be held for the benefit of the less fortunate in the parish, some for the upkeep of the church. The parish church wasn't just a place for services but of community, care and conviviality.  

 

Many churches and most monasteries would brew their own ale and beer. Just around the corner from Kings Langley is St Albans, a settlement which exists because of the link between the Abbey and beer: as pilgrims flocked to visit the shrine of St Alban, hostelries sprang up to cater for them.  

 

We've lost much of this vibrancy with the stiff formalism and narrowly religious church life of more recent times. But that doesn't mean we can't bring it back! A beer and fizz festival is a great way to start. 

  

Churches aren't meant to be religious museums for Sunday worship, but living parts of the community, welcoming all kinds of people for fun and fellowship, not just for faith. All Saints has been at the heart of the community for over 800 years and we want to keep it that way – it’s your parish church.

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