It is said that alcohol never solves any problems but in the case of St Andrew’s church in Rippingale it is helping! The problem is the church roof as it requires £137,000 of repairs and part of the solution to paying for it is being provided in the form of the production of a specially brewed beer courtesy of John and Louise Smith, the landlords of The Bull Inn in Rippingdale.

Work initially started on the chancel roof in September 2018 with the cost predicted to be £48,000.  This had already been raised through fundraising events, small grants, a generous donation from a benefactor in the parish and by drawing on the church’s deposit funds.

However when the work commenced it quickly became clear that the roof was in much worse condition than originally thought and a revised estimate put the total cost at over two and half times the original estimate. As a result the work has had to be split into two phases. 

The first phase, which comprised of all the internal work and the erection of a temporary external roof, was completed just before Christmas 2018. The church is now in the situation where it needs to raise just over £67,000 to complete the work before the life of the temporary roof expires in 2020.

The new beer will be called ‘Restoration’ and will be brewed by the Hopshackle brewery in Market Deeping. Brewery owner Nigel Wright said: “When John and Louise first mentioned this to me I thought what a cracking idea. For centuries there has been a strong association between breweries and their local community. The Restoration beer will honour this historical past and preserve it into the future for the next generations.” 

Reverend Neil Bullen, Rector of the Ringstone in Aveland Group (which includes Rippingale) said: “We are very grateful to John and Louise at The Bull Inn for this generous offer of help. The church and the pub have worked closely together in various ways over the years and this is really important in such a small community. There is a historic connection between the church and brewing, monks have been brewing beer since the 5th century so this means of fundraising is in keeping with that tradition.”

Louise Smith, owner and Landlady of the Bull Inn said,  "We are delighted to be able to help St Andrew's Church in this way. This limited edition bottled beer can be ordered by telephone (01778 440054) or via our facebook page (@TheBullRippingdale) and will be available to collect from mid December." She added: "We will also have the beer available on draft for people to sample from the 17th December.”

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