Vicar looks forward to pulling pints after helping rescue local pub


A vicar will be giving a whole new meaning to serving the community – working behind the bar at the village pub she helped save from closure.
Mark Haslam and Rev Rebecca Elliot outside Brewers Arms in West Malvern Rev Rebecca Elliot (right) with Brewers Arms licence-holder Mark Haslam (left) | Sam Setchell

The Rev Rebecca Elliot, vicar of Holy Trinity Church and St James Church in Malvern, Worcester, will be doing regular shifts at the Brewers Arms in West Malvern which was rescued from closure in a community buyout.

The community raised over £400,000 to buy the pub after it closed and looked unlikely to reopen.

The 190-year-old stone-built pub on the Malvern Hills closed in June, with its future uncertain.

The move prompted the local community into action, and in just over six weeks, 437 locals chipped in to buy the pub and run it themselves.

Since then, a team of unpaid volunteers dedicated themselves to the pub’s refurbishment. It reopened on Saturday.

As the community has so far been unable to find a landlord or landlady to run the pub, along with a team of volunteers, Rebecca will be doing shifts behind the bar on Thursday evenings.

“Like the church and the school, the pub is a key part of our local community,” she said.
“Therefore, at its time of need, I’m delighted to be able to chip-in and do my bit. I’m quite looking forward to pulling a few pints, whilst also enjoying meeting up with local people.

“When I mentioned I’d love to help out, I thought it would be a great way of getting to know people and being more visible in the community. I’ll be wearing my dog collar while serving behind the bar and when people want a conversation about something that’s going on in their lives or need the church’s support, they’ll know me.

“I hope it will help to build a stronger connection between the church, local school and pub in a traditional village way.”

Mark Haslam, the pub’s licence-holder, said: “The Brewers Arms is a delightful pub, and we refuse to believe there aren’t the right people out there who want to become a key part of our vibrant and ‘can do’ community.”

Their search for a landlord or lady continues.