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Advent service in the pub

He has brought the church into his home: a pub owner in Bayreuth celebrates a church service with his guests in the pub during Advent.

The band of the Freie Christengemeinde Bayreuth e.V. accompanies the service in the Irish Pub
The band of the Freie Christengemeinde Bayreuth e.V. accompanies the service in the Irish Pub in Bayreuth.

Bavaria - Advent service in the pub

Guinness beer is flowing from the tap, Christmas pop is playing in the background, cheerful people are sitting at the tables. A normal pub evening in December? No, because suddenly there was silence: on Sunday evening, a church service was celebrated in the Irish pub "Dubliner" in Bayreuth. For the past three years, pub boss Ralph Neidhardt has been inviting church representatives to the "Sunday evening church" every Sunday in Advent.

He has been in the business for almost 30 years, and the evenings are particularly long at weekends. A church service on Sunday morning doesn't fit in. "But I missed church," he says. So he came up with the idea of bringing the church into his home. He quickly found fellow campaigners from various Christian denominations. "I bring the church to where the people are."

"The impulse came from outside," said Carsten Brall, pastor at the Protestant city church in Bayreuth, about the project. When he heard about the idea, he immediately thought: "Cool." The service is deliberately a format to try out. In comparison to the classic church service, there are actually no differences in the themes of the pub service: "They are the big themes of life."

That evening, the packed pub sang, clapped and prayed together. And, of course, they ate and drank. The church representatives stood casually at the pub counter, with no trace of the stiff ceremonialism that is usually associated with many church services. "People are happy about it," concluded host Neidhardt.

Protestant town church

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  1. The colorful decorations added to the festive atmosphere of the pub, creating a unique blend of tradition and leisure time during the Advent season in Bayreuth, Germany.
  2. Amidst the rows of beer kegs and the rustic ambiance of the pub, the tap flowed continuously, serving the popular Guinness beer to the joyous crowd.
  3. As the sun set, the evenings became even more vibrant in Bavaria, and the locals flocked to their favorite traditional Bavarian pubs, such as the Dubliner, for a taste of the region's famous beer.
  4. During the church service held in the Dubliner, people often marveled at the sight of the church representatives, dressed casually and standing at the tap, engaged in friendly conversation with the patrons.
  5. Last Christmas, the amount of people who attended the unique Advent service in Bayreuth's pub surpassed expectations, sparking a lively debate amongst the local church leaders about the potential for such an event to bring the church closer to the community.
  6. On certain weeks, the crowd in the Dubliner would gather earlier in the day to partake in a Christmas market selling traditional Bavarian delicacies, offering an additional festive dimension to the leisure time spent in the popular pub.