Seven trainee priests walk into a bar – Believe it or not, this isn’t the start of a joke, they were actually asked to leave because the bar staff thought they were on a stag do.
It may sound crazy, but the comical incident actually took place at the weekend after the seminarians went out to celebrate a colleague’s ordination.
The holy men had ventured to The City Arms in Cardiff city centre on Saturday to enjoy one of the beers from a local brewery, appropriately named, The Rev. James
The budding young priests were ready to begin some celebratory drinks fell foul of a barman who was more than weary of potential ‘high jinks’ from the group of men as he assumed they were wearing fancy dress.
Father Michael Doyle, a friend of the party who studied alongside them until his own recent ordination, said: ‘On arrival, the bartender informed them that it was policy not to grant entry to fancy dress parties or stag ‘dos’
The seminarians thought the bar staff were joking with them until it became clear that they were in fact quite serious.
Thankfully, before they were removed with out a drip of alcohol passing their lips, Matt Morgan, an assistant manager approached to double-check their credentials. They were subsequently invited back into the pub after the mix-up.
I got the idea that they might be real priests so I thought I’d better go and sort it out. They showed me a picture of them in the church with their clerical collars on so I brought them in. They were fine, (they) had a laugh. I gave them a drink and they stayed all night. Everything was sorted in the end.
Father Doyle said that Reverend James had been accompanied by a Reverend Nicholas Williams and two other Cardiff-based students; Elliot Hanson, a linguist and former English teacher entering his 3rd year of formation and Dale Cutlan, a history graduate due to start his training for the priesthood next month and the other three seminarians were based elsewhere in South Wales.
Father Doyle confirmed that Rev. Robert James was indeed partial to a pint of the Cardiff-brewed beer bearing his name.
We went to a different bar in the city centre and a woman approached me and asked if we were on a stag weekend, so I can see how the City Arms barman got confused.
Luckily, the good-humoured priests said they were entertained by the mix-up and the positive reaction of the other pub-goers and plan to return to The City Arms.
Reverend Robert James then posed for a picture with a pint of Cardiff-brewed The Rev. James, which the pub tweeted before the group bought the embarrassed barman a pint.
The Archdiocese of Cardiff added: ‘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!‘