Manchester Photographer, Jonathan Pow

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Hull Daily Mail – The Last Suppers

As a freelance press press photographer, I love looking for a good opportunity for a decent image and story. This one didn’t disappoint.

To see the original story, see this link: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/suppers-Beer-lovers-drink-Hull-church-dry/story-18778547-detail/story.html#ixzz3TS3Aygqi [Opens in a new window]

Or read about it, from my archive here:

“IT IS unlikely to ever feature in the Good Pub Guide but Hull’s Holy Trinity Church, chosen to host a beer festival, hit the spot for real ale drinkers.

More than 2,500 people guzzled 9,000 pints of beer, 1,100 pints of cider and 400 bottles during a three-day festival at England’s biggest parish church.

And the Reverend Matt Woodcock – chatting during a break from pint-pulling duties – says the 700-year-old church made a perfect venue.

He said: “When I was ordained, I never thought, even for second, I would be rolling barrels of beer into church at eight o’clock in the morning.

“For me, the picture of us all sipping on pints of beer in front of a painting of The Last Supper sums it all up brilliantly. Jesus’s ministry was run from around the table, with people eating and drinking, while discussing the deeper meaning of life.

“The festival was like that, too. There were no fruit machines, TV screens or other distractions. It was just a group of people talking with one another over a few pints and enjoying a pork pie or two.

“The atmosphere in church was wonderful. The place was rammed to the rafters.”

It was only the second time the Hull and East Yorkshire branch of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) had picked Holy Trinity to host their annual, popular festival.

Mr Woodcock admits not everyone was comfortable with the church being used to host the Hull Real Ale & Cider Festival.

But he says worshippers, both traditional and modern, showed their gracious side and fully supported the event.

Mr Woodcock said: “It’s fair to say we had to convince some of our established church members that it would be a good thing.

“It certainly helped that the vicar, the Reverend Dr Neal Barnes, was totally up for it. He thought it was a brilliant idea, as did I.

“The majority of church members really embraced it too but even those who were not comfortable with the idea were really very supportive and I would like to thank those people.

“The festival certainly didn’t cause a rift.”

Last year, the taps ran dry, prompting organisers to double the order this year.

But even that was not enough to quench the thirst of drinkers and an “emergency” order of 20 casks was delivered on Saturday, the final day of the festival.

Mr Woodcock said: “I’m a Camra member, so I took my turn behind the bar.

“It was wonderful pouring pints for people and having a chat at the same time.”

Festival organiser Stewart Campbell, of Camra, thanked Reverends Woodcock and Barnes for allowing his group to use the historic venue.

He said: “It’s a brilliant venue. We could not have wished for anywhere better.

“Holy Trinity is such a wonderful building – and it kept the beer nice and cool.”

Mr Woodcock sound a little worse for wear when he spoke to the Mail yesterday.

But he laughed off suggestions of a hangover.

“It was all the hard work – honestly,” said Mr Woodcock. “Life is all about moderation.”

• Dates for next year’s festival have already been announced. It will run from April 24-26, 2014.”

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