It is our custom …

The choir members are back from their holidays today, so Choral Evensong recommences at 6.30 tonight. Indeed, we have a treat today as we can listen to St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on Radio 3 first. (And they are not singing Kelly in C this year).

My Presbyterian friends, (yes I do have Presbyterian friends, don’t be tiresome) are often surprised at the things that Episcopalians do. Chief amongst the customs that astonish them is that of going to the pub after Evensong or any other excuse. Indeed, this religious rite seems to be replicated throughout much of the British Anglican/Episcopal world and at least in this glorious city is a custom that we know has been established for several centuries. (There are historical records of unpaid bar bills having to be settled)

Does it happen in the US and Canada? I’m not sure. However, we can know of the extent of this activity in the UK from the wonderful website which deals in Cathedral Choir Pubs. So sophisticated is it now that it uses Google maps and all kinds of Web 2.0ery

Anyway, my purpose for posting here is to assert that, being the inclusive kind of congregation that we are, in Glasgow, the choir trip to the pub is not limited to members of the choir. Oh no, all kinds of [clergy and other] ne’er-do-wells tag along from time to time.

New riff-raff always welcome.


  1. Visiting the pub after practice is defintely a custom in Canada – as I discovered when I worked there in 2002. As the church I attended did not have Evensong on a Sunday there was not the opportunity to “lubricate the dry throats”, however on the Monday evening I introduced them to Compline, the pub was visted afterwards.

  2. Moyra says

    The post Choir Practice and Evensong pub visiting over a period of five years or so in my formative years (student days and a couple of years afterwards….) is probably as responsible for my being an Anglican and the subsequent unfolding of my life as anything else.

  3. Oh I wish I could join you. I mean, what do you do when there are no ‘nice’ pubs near the church? The only nearby pub for us would mean battling through the dozen or so men snorting and houghing up globules of spit and nicotene at the door. Then once inside the smell is of warm urine and bad BO. Not inducive at all to discussions of the theological kind.

  4. I heard the Evensong on BBC R3!

    Well, when I was active in the choir at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Houston, after choir practise, we’d head up West Alabama St to a local “ice house,” a Texas tradition – open air (it’s mostly pleasant all-year-round). We’d all grab a beer and sit at the tables outside. Yes, siree: Lone Star all the way! 😛

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