Communion wine used to be the only available alcohol within the hallowed walls of a cathedral.
But now Holy Orders has taken on new meaning as Wakefield Cathedral has been granted an off-licence to sell gift packs of beer to help with its restoration.
However don’t expect a selection like you see down Bargain Booze.
Canon missioner Tony Macpherson said: “We are not setting up as an off-licence in the centre of Wakefield.”
The cathedral, which has been a place of worship for well over 1,000 years, has been granted an off-sales licence just to sell exclusive gift packs of Cathedral Blonde in its Treacy Hall shop. It already has a premises licence for events.
The beer has been brewed by another long-standing Wakefield institution, Clark’s of Westgate, which was established in 1906.
Cathedral Blonde is a rebranding of Clark’s best-selling ale, Classic Blonde, which won silver at last year’s Rotherham Magna Beer Festival.
The link up came about through cathedral fundraiser Terry Rigg, who has worked with Clark’s on charity events in the past.
The cathedral needs to raise £2m for its Project 2016 to renew heating and lighting in the quire and for remedial work in the crypt.
Clark’s managing director David Garthwaite said: “That’s an awful lot of beer, but all donations will be gratefully received.”
Some 1,400 bottles of Cathedral Blonde have been produced.
Mr Garthwaite added: “All proceeds are going to the cathedral project, which we hope over the next two to three years will not only benefit the cathedral but also the local population.”
Clark’s cask ale manager Jeff Hempsall added: “Classic Blonde, our best selling ale, has been exclusively rebranded as Cathedral Blonde. This is the first time we have bottled an ale for 15 to 20 years and we are delighted to have been selected for this fundraising project.”