Christ Church Swindon beer festival - sun, swing, and pints in pews

First published 19th May 2022

Last weekend 14–15 May saw the sunny return of Christ Church Swindon’s annual Old Town Beer Festival, after a pandemic-induced hiatus, with over 40 beers, more than 1,000 punters, and music from Gloucester-based Christian jazz and blues band Out of the Ashes.

The two-day event raised money for the church and its community centre, as well as nominated charity Swindon Blind Association, and Christian Aid, and was formally opened by Swindon Town FC players.

Revd Canon Simon Stevenette, vicar of Christ Church, said: “It was a great evening of music, story and reflection. The whole event is such an amazing opportunity to have conversations with our local community, many of whom don’t normally come to church. We really love being a big part of our local community.”

Chris Smith, event organiser, said: “People love this event – every year they talk about the surreal experience of drinking a pint in a pew.”

“There were around 50 volunteers without whom the event couldn’t have happened. We are so grateful to all of them.”

He added that next year will be the event’s 10th anniversary. “We hope to come up with some innovative and creative ideas to make it the best one yet.”

More than 20 local businesses support and sponsored the event including The Hop Inn and Los Gatos, ticket vendors Magnum Wine Shop and brochure design company Gel Studios.


Images: cred Chris Smith 2022

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