Vicar Swaps Pulpit For Pulling Pints
and publican takes a turn at the pulpit
The Reverend Derath Durkin will exchange serving her local community at St. Faith's Church, for serving customers at the bar of Lord Nelson in Brentford on Saturday 30th January for one night only.
In a job swap like no other The Reverend Durkin and Lee Bartlett, publican of the Lord Nelson, have decided to swap jobs. The swap will see Lee give a talk in the sermon slot, in the Sunday service at St. Faith's at 10am on 7th February. Lee will be talking about his role in the community at the Lord Nelson.
So what brings these diverse places in the heart of Brentford together? The Lord Nelson and St. Faith's are both at the heart of their community. Both are lead by individuals who believe in community and the role that they play in bringing groups of local people together.
What is the attraction of the swap to Derath and Lee?
The Reverend Durkin said "I think for me, the realisation that our roles, tho’ in many ways very diverse, and with very different unique selling points, actually have many similarities. For me as the Vicar, it is providing spiritual food, both for the congregation here at St Faith’s and for those in the community who are perhaps searching for “something”, whether that might be “religion” or the meaning of life in general. In short, I hope to share the love of Jesus amongst us. However our roles are incredibly similar, in that we both play our parts in the community, both having a pastoral and caring part to play.
Many of the congregation at St Faith’s (and indeed our Church hall users too) regularly (or so I’m told!), drink or dine in the Nelson. Likewise many of Lee’s customers in the Nelson join us for our various services. I have married at least 2 couples who are regulars, and I regularly see couples in the Nelson whose babies I have baptised.
I passionately believe that the church needs to engage with, and get out into the community in which it serves. We have sought to do that over the last 4 years or so in various places in the parish, including bringing Christmas Carols into the Nelson and holding services at Clayponds Community Centre. (As chaplain to the ATC Ealing and Brentford Squadron, I also work with cadets of all faiths and none - looking at moral and ethical issues concerning young people, assisting them to be responsible young adults in our community. We seek to engage with as many schools and organisations in the area as possible. The more that we, as a church, work in partnership with other stakeholders in the community, so much the better!"
Nelson landlord, Lee Bartlett added "Since moving to Brentford just over a year ago, my aim has been to be a part of your community. The Nelson in its tucked out of the way location, I saw as the perfect place to set up home with my young, growing family. I have met some fantastic people over the past year all of which I would consider friends.
The similarities between my job and Derath's have recently become very apparent. Although the Nelly does offer the obvious refreshments, I would also like to think we offer a sympathetic ear, a rest from the road, sanctuary after a hard day’s work and a release from reality TV.
So when Derath offered me the chance for this job swap I have been both terrified and terribly excited see you all on the 7th of Feb".
January 20th, 2010