VILLAGERS took communion in unusual surroundings - when a vicar blessed a brewery as well as his congregation.

About a dozen local residents gathered at the five-barrel Half Moon Brewery in Ellerton, near Elvington, to receive the body and blood of Christ, but with ale instead of wine.

Jackie Rogers started the brewery with her husband Tony in November, and was chatting to local vicar the Rev Francis Loftus last year when the idea struck them.

She said: “He knew it was his turn to take Communion in February and said ‘Why don’t we bless the brewery?’. We support the local church because for us it’s about the fellowship and the community.

“You have to be confirmed to take communion and take the body and blood of Christ in bread and wine. Rather than being wine, it was beer.

“We set the table out with the candle and offering in the brewery and the congregation sat in the brewery and received communion.”

There were about 12 people in the brewery for the ceremony last Thursday, which Jackie said was “big numbers for us” and Rev Loftus also blessed the brewery and the equipment and product inside it.

Jackie said: “It was a real community event and reached people who wouldn’t normally necessarily come into the brewery. He blessed the brewery which was great.

"We are about to brew a special beer with the water blessed this morning. The beer is going to be called Vicar’s Tipple and it’s going to be a light sort of hoppy beer.”

Vicar’s Tipple will be available in real ale pubs in the York area from the end of March.

>> Flashback: Long-lost pub becomes brewery in Ellerton