It wasa case of 'Ale Mary!' as preprations get underway for this year's York CAMRA beer and cider festival.

The propular event is taking placve at St Lawrence Parish Church this week, from Wednesday until Saturday.

To mark the event, the church's Father Adam Romanis visited the church on Friday to bless some of the beer as the casks were rolled and cooled.

Fr Romanis gave thanks for those that brewed the beer and prayed for the success of the festival, before examining some of the beers that will be available, including an IPA, Holy Trinity, brewed specially for the festival by the York-based Half Moon Brewery.


Fr Romanis then visited the Waggon and Horses opposite the church on Lawrence Street, which is taking part in the Festival Fringe, to pull a pint under the watchful eye of landlord Tom Renshaw.

Fr Romanis said: "It was fantastic to see the work underway at St Lawrence, to speak with those organising the festival, and to pray for God's blessing on all that they are doing.

"We are very happy to be hosting CAMRA's beer and cider festival at St Lawrence. The importance of real ale, local breweries, and friendly pubs to communities across York and the country is something we strongly support at St Lawrence, with our local pub, The Waggon and Horses, playing an intrinsic part in church life.

York Press: Fr Romanis enjoys a drink

"Ensuring people could have a good drink appreciated with friends was Christ's first miracle, with the conversion of the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. As a church we warmly welcome those visiting St Lawrence for the first time during the festival and hope all have an enjoyable time."

Casks blessed by Fr Adam included the Northern Monk Brewery's "Eternal" and "A Little Faith".

A church spokesperson said: "God moves in mysterious ways."

As the Press reported, the annuual event is taking place in the magnificent historical setting of St Lawrence Church, as the previous venbue, York Race Course, is staging extra racing this year.

Given the reduced capacity compared to last year, would-be visitors are advised to buy advance tickets to avoid disappointment.

There will be more than 250 beers, ciders, wines and perries, plus craft beers from Europe and the USA. There will also sales of street food.

York Press: Father RomanisFather Romanis (Image: Pic supplied)


New this year, is a festival fringe, involving pubs in the area staging ‘meet the brewer’ events and their own mini beer festivals.

While some have questioned a church location, Camra stages many festivals in churches, bringing them much-needed revenue.

For details and to book, go to: