A group of seminarians celebrating the ordination of one of their number were refused service in a Cardiff pub because the barman thought they were a stag do.
The group had headed to the City Arms in Cardiff last Saturday following the ordination of Fr Peter McClaren at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David earlier in the day. But they were met with an unexpected welcome – or not. The bartender told them that it was policy not to grant entry to fancy dress parties or stag dos.
“Upon hearing this, our initial impression was that this was a joke until it became clear that this was not the case and he was, in fact, serious,” the priests told Wales Online.
After insisting to no avail that they were in fact students for the priesthood, two of them having recently been ordained deacons, they turned to leave. They were then approached by the assistant manager, who reassured them that he accepted who they claimed to be and invited them back in.
“By way of apology, he then very graciously provided us with a round of drinks, at which point the group decided to stay, provoking an outburst of applause from the locals casually enjoying a pint.”
To add to their enjoyment, one of the bar staff realised one of the visiting priests was called Reverend James – the name of one of the brewery Brains’ most popular beers.
Encouraged by the positive reaction of the local community to the clerical collar, the seminarians plan to return to the pub.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cardiff said: “We’d like to thank the City Arms for being good sports through all of this and their kind gesture to our seminarians – and please note a number of our clergy, including the Archbishop of Cardiff, frequent your bar so don’t turf any more out please!”