Retired vicar celebrates 25 years behind the bar, and says being a publican is a great career for the clergy.

Norman Atty and his wife Christine have run the award-winning Dog Inn, in Whalley, Lancashire, for 25 years and would recommend any vicar to do the same.

Norman, who has been asked by his pub regulars to officiate at marriages, christenings and funerals while running the pub, said: “All clergymen should be required to have a go running a pub, but not the other way around.

“The church should welcome everybody, similar to a pub. They’re both about hospitality.

“You have to be all things to all people. You have to be welcoming unconditionally, which can test your patience sometimes in a pub, but you learn a lot. I say anyone can come in, as long as they don’t abuse my staff.”

The pub's motto is "show hospitality to strangers, for some have entertained angels unaware," which is from St Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews.

While running the pub, Norman has acted as consort to the lady mayor 15 years ago, sat on the parish council, been president of the chamber of trade and still is chaplain to the British Legion.

The pub was also integral in helping the village when it flooded last year, providing coffee and sandwiches to rescue services, the police and any cold and hungry helpers.

Lorna Willougby, business development manager at Star Pubs & Bars, landlords of the Dog Inn, said: “Norman and Christine are wonderful, hospitable landlords. They’ve established The Dog Inn as a popular local."