St Boniface church in Woodgreen, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, has set up a 'pop up' pub to provide drinks for the village while locals fight to take over the Horse and Groom.

 

The Diocese of Winchester church, which meets fortnightly, is dubbing the pop up "The Room at the Inn" and will open on Friday and Saturday evenings in the two weeks before Christmas – as well as on Christmas Day itself from 12 to 2pm.

In its local newsletter, the church said: "While Woodgreen's village pub is closed, St Boniface church opposite is popping-up to refresh the community, not just spiritually but with festive tipples sourced from local suppliers."

"Supported by their fantastic village shop and local breweries, the church is offering a licensed social space for locals to raise a glass together."

The Horse and Groom pub opposite the church is currently being sold by brewery Hall and Woodhouse.

The pub has already been given ACV status and a local group are aiming to take the local over. It has received more than £450,000 in backing from the community with an overall fund of £600,000 to £700,000 sought to cover the cost of the property, taxes, refurbishments and for a manager of the boozer.

Nicky Davies, assistant curate at the Avon Valley Partnership, which is part of the group of seven churchs serving the community, told a local radio station: "Some people may think it is unusual for a church to become a pub but just think of the tradition of the monks brewing beer in medieval times.

"And at the heart of Christianity is the tradition of sharing bread and wine together."