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No room at the inn - Christians turned away from pub named after Sunday School pioneer

By The Citizen  |  Posted: July 03, 2014

Christians in Gloucester outside Robert Raikes House

Comments (21)

CHRISTIANS have been prevented from holding a Bible talk in a pub named after Robert Raikes – the founder of Sunday schools in the 18th Century.

A talk on the historical figure had been organised by Christians in Gloucester to take place at Robert Raikes House in Southgate Street tomorrow.

However, they have since had to change venues as the pub declined to be associated with their annual Bible Day event.

Christians in Gloucester claim the pub’s management objected to being associated with the word Bible.

But the pub’s manager Phil Tandy said the group was prevented from using the watering hole because it did not consult him and his staff properly.

Roland Parsons, city preacher and spokesman for the group, said: “We think the pub has excluded us because it wanted to please everybody else and not have the word Bible associated with the establishment.

“We find this quite ironic because of the work Robert Raikes did for Christianity and education.

“It’s upsetting to be banned but, as a Christian, I personally forgive the manager.”

Mr Tandy said he believes pubs and religious activity do not necessarily mix but he has no problem with the use of the word Bible and, as a Samuel Smith pub, Robert Raikes House is banned from advertising.

He said: “I’ve got absolutely no problem at all with the word Bible but we were not consulted about being associated with Bible Day.

“Then I see flyers across town associating us with the event without being told.

“The group also couldn’t guarantee how many people who be attending the meal. If they had 100 people coming that would disrupt the pub for the public.

“I know Robert Raikes was a famous religious figure in Gloucester, but, personally, I’m not sure a pub should be associated with religious activities.”

Bible Day has been held in Gloucester for the past four years and has previously held talks on William Tindale and Bishop John Hooper.

The talk on Robert Raikes, inset, will now take place at the Coat Room at Gloucester Guildhall tomorrow at 11.30am.

Simon Jarvis, leader of One Church in Gloucester, said: “We have a right to say something truthful from our perspective in public and I love that we have the freedom to do that in our country.”

The Reverend Gwyenth Gibbens, from Holy Trinity Church, Longlevens, said: “It’s important the church has the freedom to express itself and not become a fringe group. Christians and the church are part of the history of this country.”

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  • c406tin  |  July 06 2014, 8:29PM

    I don't believe that Robert Raikes House had been asked as such to advertise Gloucester Bible Day, but simply to please provide a venue for food and a talk. So what's the problem? It's an annual event, and not new. It seems a lame argument to cancel the talk on the basis that the management would somehow be "involved" due to a flyer that said it was to take place in their building. How can a flyer avoid a mention of where to go? Given the building's historical connection with Raikes, the Bible, and the talk's approval by the Civic Trust and Tourist Information, not to mention Raikes' portrait which hangs above the door; (a man who did so much to educate the youth of his day, using the Bible as his principal tool) it's staggering that the management now says effectively; "We don't want that stuff here". If Robert Raikes House were asked to host similar for the local Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour or UKIP, would they feel compelled to refuse on the grounds that they might appear to endorse their policies? I doubt it. It seems it's only when Christian activity, and the Book it's founded on are mentioned, that different rules apply. Sadly, the management don't recognise that our nation once prospered largely due to biblical teaching, which promoted laws for a stable society. For the lack of such teaching, true prosperity vanishes and bad things come, and it's happening. Evangelist Billy Graham (often welcomed to the UK) preached: "Come to Christ" (not to some religion), and frequently prefaced his words with; "The Bible says...." So should we! Sincerely, Ian Davenport

  • rapha  |  July 06 2014, 1:58PM

    "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. " (Proverbs 22:6 ). I went to Sunday school as a child in North East England. When I was 18 I stopped going to church for a number of years. Later however whiIe in Canada I had a Damascus Road experience and was saved. I suggest that P_I_Staker, LordGagas et al do an experiment and start seeking The LORD. The Bible says:- … if you shalt seek the LORD, you shalt find him, if thou seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Don't knock it, give it a try!!!

  • Aletheia  |  July 05 2014, 8:48PM

    What a shame that a brewery that renovated and maintained historic buildings to a very high standard cannot see its way to facilitating this group's annual meeting. In fact, they really have a bit of a cheek because if it wasn't for the Sunday school movement, started by Robert Raikes, Sam Smiths would not have a building with real history.

  • honslknjklyt  |  July 04 2014, 7:24PM

    There were two "blue" people dressed up today in town centre. There faces could not be seen at all, it was complete coverage - more than a muslim woman is covered (at least with a muslim woman her eyes can be seen)! No one batted an eyelid. They were there giving out cards for alcohol delivery. That is up to them but alcohol causes a lot of deaths in this country. I don't like alcohol, I was offered one before knowing what it was. I accepted and smiled. I did not need to get "offended" or write to someone or go to the police for being "imposed" upon with alcohol. It is their right to give it out if they want. I can simply say no thank you, keep it or simply dispose of it in the recycling if I don't want it. Easy when you know how!!!!!!

  • IsitJimKerr  |  July 04 2014, 6:20PM

    P I...totally agree with you, it's probably actually 'an assault', however, I still think that being beheaded or crucified just because you were brought up to worship a different 'god' is just a tad worse than having a piece of paper shoved in your hand, however distasteful that might have been.

  • CastleGrim  |  July 04 2014, 12:39PM

    "Roland Parsons, city preacher and spokesman for the group, said: "We think......" You see, I think that's the problem right there, you didn't think did you.

    |   -57
  • zalapompadoo  |  July 04 2014, 12:28PM

    think of the trade he has lost few pints and bangers and mash

  • P_I_Staker  |  July 04 2014, 11:57AM

    IsitJimKerr - I don't like the fact that they have approached may 2 year old son and handed him a flier after I told them I was NOT interested! The next time this happens I will be calling the police!

  • IsitJimKerr  |  July 04 2014, 11:27AM

    P I...you say they are 'the worst kind of religious zealots'....I think you should look to the Middle East for that!

  • LordGagas  |  July 04 2014, 11:12AM

    The world would have been a better place if religion had not been invented.