The Brewery is a new initiative launched by Andrew Bailey and John Lisle, the student pastors at St. James in the City church, Toxteth. The vision of the Brewery is to make worship and Church life more accessible to a generation who can find even stepping across the threshold of a church building intimidating.
We meet every Wednesday at 6-8pm at Handyman Bar and Brewery on Smithdown Road. For the first hour, students can come along, have a drink, play some games and get to know us, and if they feel comfortable, we hold an informal worship service in the back space of the bar (see photo) in the second hour.
This term we have been focusing on our stories, and parts of scripture that resonate with our stories. This has given the St. James student community a fresh opportunity to lead services, learn to believe in the power of their testimony, as well sharing the Gospel with their friends.
In one of the first few sessions, one lady heard a student preaching from the main bar space and came through to have a look. She stayed for the whole talk, and the final worship song, saying that “There is a peace here that I know I need, I just have some questions”.
We have also been able to connect with a number of students who profess a faith but struggled to find a church in Liverpool. Most recently, we held an open mic night, followed by acoustic carols. One student who has had a very strict faith upbringing told a member of The Brewery team that she had found faith difficult and even imposing growing up, but was now ready to explore it herself. She has now been invited to attend an Alpha course.
We are so encouraged by what God has already done, as we have begun to build community at Handyman and we are expectant that he has more in store.